Refresh Your Living Space With Homemade Potpourri

Keeping your home smelling its best isn’t easy. Whether you’re notorious for forgetting to empty that kitchen trash can or you simply have pets who leave their signature scents throughout your home, unwanted and lingering smells are a problem many people deal with. Before you resort to buying harsh air fresheners or room sprays, however, have you thought about trying potpourri?

Better yet, you can actually make your own potpourri in just a matter of a couple hours—and the lovely scent can last for many months to come.

What is Potpourri, Exactly?

Specifically, potpourri refers to a mixture of natural ingredients, such as dried flower petals, herbs, and spices that are placed in an open bowl or other containers to release their natural scents. Potpourri is most often used in homes to add a pleasant fragrance to a particular room or living space, and it’s not uncommon for the scent of a single potpourri batch to last for months or even years.

Potpourri can be bought at many home goods stores and even some grocery stores, but you can also make your own at home using some simple ingredients.

Benefits of Making Your Own Potpourri

Why make your own potpourri when you could just pick some up at the store or use a traditional air-freshening spray? There are a few reasons, actually.

Keep Your Home Smelling Great

First and foremost, potpourri will keep your living space smelling fresh. A single bowl of potpourri can easily spread natural and lovely scents throughout a large space, and there’s no need to plug in an air freshener or spray an odor neutralizer. Simply pour the potpourri into a shallow bowl or other containers that will allow the scents to release and circulate throughout the room and you can enjoy the fragrance for many months or years to come without having to lift a finger.

Avoid Harsh Chemical Fragrances

When you buy an air-freshener spray, these often contain harsh chemicals and other questionable ingredients. Do you really want to be spraying those into the air that you and your loved ones breathe? Potpourri is all-natural, using ingredients such as dried citrus, flower petals, and spices—so you never have to worry about potential contact with dangerous ingredients.

Save Money on Store-Bought Options

Even if you find a natural air freshener or odor neutralizer, the cost compared to a batch of homemade potpourri can be very high. By making your own potpourri, you can save yourself some money—especially if you choose ingredients that you already have on-hand or that are in-season (and thus less expensive).

Customize Your Scent

Part of the beauty of making your own potpourri is simply being able to personalize your scent to suit your tastes. There are so many possibilities when it comes to potpourri scent combinations, such as a cinnamon-based potpourri for the holiday season or a citrus one for the summer months. Many people enjoy being able to pick and choose the exact ingredients that go into their batch of homemade potpourri for a truly one-of-a-kind home fragrance.

How to Make Homemade Potpourri

Now that we’ve convinced you to try your hand at DIY potpourri, where should you begin? Follow our simple step-by-step guide and you’ll be on your way to a fresh and fragrant creation in no time.

Choose Your Scents

Begin by brainstorming some scent ideas. What are some of your favorite types of fragrances? Perhaps you tend to gravitate towards food-based scents like citrus, rosemary, or cinnamon. Or maybe you’re more a fan of florals. You may also want to consider a seasonal scent based on the particular time of year. For example, some fresh tulips and daffodils could make an excellent base for a springtime potpourri.

If you’re stumped on which ingredients you should include in your potpourri to achieve your ideal scent, there are plenty of “recipes” to check out online!

Gather Your Supplies

Begin by making a shopping run for the ingredients you need. Make sure you have parchment paper and a large baking sheet, as you’ll need these to dry out your ingredients. Many potpourri ingredients can be found at your local grocery store, though you may need to head to a florist if you’re looking for specific flowers or other plants.

Spread Ingredients Onto Parchment Paper

Once you have all your supplies gathered, it’s time to spread out your first batch of potpourri onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. For flowers, it’s generally best to snip off the heads of smaller flowers before spreading them; for large flowers, you can even remove and spread individual petals if you desire.

Next, add some more scent to your potpourri by layering sprigs of fresh herbs, citrus slices, or both to your mixture. Spices, such as cinnamon sticks or cloves, can also be added during this step. If you’d like a boost of scent, you can also add some essential oils to a small spray bottle and lightly spritz the entire mixture for good measure.

Dry Ingredients in the Oven

Next, pop the entire baking sheet into the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93.33 °C). To completely dry out the ingredients,  you’ll probably need to leave them in the oven for about two hours. Keep a close eye on them, though, to make sure nothing begins to burn.

Spritz With Essential Oil

Remove the baking sheet once the ingredients are dried out to the point of being brittle but not charred. From there, you can add a little extra scent if you desire by spraying some more essential oils onto the entire pan. From there, simply allow the potpourri to cool completely before gathering it into a bowl or other open container to display openly and enjoy!

Other Ways to Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh

Setting out some homemade potpourri is one of the best ways to keep your home smelling fresh. And of course, what is more beautiful than a carefully arranged bowl of potpourri? Still, if you’re looking for help in keeping your home smelling and looking its best, you may also benefit from hiring a professional maid service.

At Maid Sailors, an Airbnb cleaning service and professional cleaning service, are committed to helping you keep a clean and tidy home from top to bottom. Let us do the dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, and more so you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy! Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 or book now using our online request form. Your satisfaction is always guaranteed, so you have nothing to lose (and a lot of free time to gain)!

Hiring a TV Mounting Service

You’ve just treated yourself to a nice, new flat-screen television with a crystal-clear picture and incredible sound. But before you can really sit down and enjoy it, you need to get it mounted to your wall. Mounting a television to your wall rather than placing it on an entertainment stand can free up square footage in your home; it can also create a cleaner and more streamlined look in any space.

Still, mounting a TV can be a time-consuming task—and if it’s something you’ve never done before, you may want to hire a professional for the job. The good news is that whether you decide to hire a pro or attempt to mount your own TV, there are some practical yet effective steps you can take to get the job done as quickly as possible. From there, you can get to binge-watching your favorite shows on your new television.

Hire a Professional or DIY?

The first thing you’ll need to do is to decide whether you’re going to mount the TV yourself or turn to a professional to have the job done. Each option has its inherent benefits and potential drawbacks, so consider them carefully as you make your decision.

Benefits of DIY TV Mounting

The biggest advantage of mounting your own TV is that it saves you money; aside from having to purchase the TV-mounting hardware, the only thing this DIY project needs to cost you is your time. And of course, when you mount your own television, you don’t have to worry about working around a professional’s schedule. As soon as you get your TV mount, you can tackle this project.

Still, DIYing this project is something you should only do if you have the right tools and experience. Common tools you’ll need include a power drill, stud finder, level, and wrenches. If you’re looking to mount an especially large and heavy TV, keep in mind that you’ll also need the strength to lift the TV up in order to mount it to the wall.

Advantages of Hiring a Professional

If you don’t have the right tools or aren’t totally confident with mounting your own TV for any reason, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional to get this job done. Doing so can free up your own valuable time while also saving you the money you would spend on acquiring the tools/hardware you need to do the job yourself.

When you hire a professional to mount your TV, you can also enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that it’s being done by an experienced worker who has likely mounted dozens or even hundreds of televisions in the past. You may need a home cleaning service if you do not want to clean up after.

Choosing the Right TV Mounting Hardware

Whether you end up hiring a pro or tackling your own TV-mounting project, you’ll need the right mounting hardware to get started. As you shop for a TV mount, there are a few tips that’ll help you make the right choice.

Consider Your Wall Material

If you’re mounting your TV to a traditional drywall, you shouldn’t have any issues finding a mount that comes with the necessary drywall anchors and other small hardware to get the job done. However, if you’ll be mounting your TV to another type of surface, such as plaster or brick, keep in mind that other hardware may be needed. Special drills and drill bits, for example, will be required to mount to a brick or cement wall. This hardware may or may not be included with your TV mount, so be sure to check and buy accordingly.

Choose the Right Weight Limit

The weight and size limit on your TV mount is vital; if your TV weighs more than your mount is rated to hold, the mount itself could end up failing—resulting in your TV crashing to the ground and potentially causing a serious injury. With this in mind, be sure to carefully research the size and weight limits on potential TV mounts and purchase one that is rated to hold at least the weight of your television.

Look for Other Features

You can find all kinds of clever features in today’s TV mounts. For example, some may come with the ability to tilt or pivot your television screen, which can make for easier viewing at different angles or even in other rooms of your home. Some TV mounts may also come with additional shelving for things like cable boxes, video game consoles, and Blu-ray players. Take some time to consider which features are most important to you when choosing a TV mount so you can more easily narrow down your options.

Tips for Mounting Your Own TV

So, you’ve decided to take the DIY approach and mount your own TV. Great! Before you get started, take some time to review these practical tips.

Know Your Limits

First of all, understand that mounting a TV can be quite the upper-body workout; this will be especially true if you’re mounting a large TV. Even though televisions have come a long way in the past several years and are more lightweight than ever, they can still be heavy and cumbersome to lift. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to ask a trusted friend for help in lifting the TV when the time comes to attach it to the mount. The last thing you need is to accidentally drop/damage your new TV—or to injure yourself!

Invest in a Quality Stud Finder

If you’re mounting your TV to drywall, you’ll need to drill into the studs. These can be difficult to find without a quality stud finder, so pick one up at your local hardware store or order one online. You can also locate studs in your home by looking for electrical outlets or light switches. Typically, these are installed directly on a stud, and studs are located anywhere from 16-22 inches apart from there.

Use Tools to Hide Wires

A mounted TV with wires hanging all over the place isn’t a great look. If you’re taking the time to mount your TV, do it correctly by hiding the wires. You can do this by either hiding them in the wall or even bundling and running them through a wire-hiding strip that can adhere to the wall. Most of these strips are designed to be painted to match your walls as well.

Don’t Forget the Level

Once the mount is installed, be sure to check and be sure that it is completely level before attaching your TV. If things aren’t looking perfectly level after your TV is attached, check the instructions that came with your mounting kit. Usually, these mounts are able to be slightly adjusted in either direction to achieve a level appearance even if your installation wasn’t 100% perfect or precise.

How to Find the Right TV-Mounting Professional

There’s no shame in saving your own time and hassle by hiring a professional to mount your TV for you. Just make sure you choose the right person (or company) for the job by following these steps.

Make Sure They’ll Use Your Mount

If you’ve already purchased a mount, start by making sure that the company you’re considering will use the hardware you provide. Most will, but some may insist that you use their hardware or purchase the hardware from them directly.

Ask About Hiding Wires

You’ll also want to make sure that the company you hire will take the time to carefully conceal any wires so they are out of sight after the TV is mounted. Find out exactly what the “game plan” is for hiding your wires, whether it be running them through the wall or using a concealing strip.

Request Proof of Insurance

You’re more-or-less hiring a stranger to handle your new (and likely expensive) TV, so it’s in your best interest to make sure the person/company you hire carries liability insurance. This way, in the event that your TV (or any of your other property) is accidentally damaged, you won’t be left to pay for it. The same applies if the person who is mounting your TV is injured on-the-job.

Inquire About Pricing and Timelines

Price is always a concern when hiring a professional for this type of work, so make sure your TV-mounting services are being fairly priced. Find out whether the company you’re looking to hire charges by the hour or charges a flat fee for the entire project. You may also want to find out how many people will be sent out to complete the job. For example, if you’re having an especially large TV mounted, you’ll probably want to make sure there are at least two people being sent out to get the job done safely and efficiently.

Don’t forget to ask about the timeline for the project, either. While most TV-mounting projects can be completed in the matter of just a few hours, it is possible that a busy company may not be able to come out to your home for a week or two. If you’re having your TV mounted for an upcoming event that you’re hosting at your home, you’ll need to make sure that you have plenty of time to have the project done before your scheduled event.

Read Third-Party Reviews

Before you hire anybody to mount a TV in your home, take some time to read third-party reviews from real customers who have hired them in the past. This will help you get a better idea of how other clients have enjoyed (or not enjoyed) their experience with the company or professional. If you can’t find reviews for a company you’re considering, don’t hesitate to ask them for a list of references or testimonials.

Keeping Your TV (And More!) Dust-Free

Once your TV is mounted, you can sit back, relax, and begin watching your favorite movies and television shows! From there, it’s simply a matter of keeping your TV clean and dust-free so you can enjoy crystal-clear picture each time you turn it on. Of course, this can be easier said than done. If you’re looking for help in keeping your TV screens (and the rest of your home) dust-free, it may be time to do yourself a favor and hire a maid service.

At Maid Sailors, we offer thorough house-cleaning services and office cleaning services to suit your needs and budget. From light cleaning and dusting to deep-cleaning and everything in between, our experienced professionals are here to serve you. Give us a call at (212) 299-5170 and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have or schedule your first service today. You can also use our convenient online form to book your cleaning appointment now!

How to Clean an Oven

Whether it’s for experimenting with an intricate new recipe or simply heating up a frozen pizza, you rely on your oven fairly often to help you prepare hot and delicious food. And more than likely, a routine part of cleaning your kitchen is wiping down the outside of your oven and the stovetop to keep it looking shiny and new.

But are you extending that same courtesy to the inside of your oven? If it’s been a while since the last time you cleaned your oven—or if you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your oven, it’s probably time to give this hard-working appliance a little TLC.

Reasons to Clean Your Oven

Whether you use your oven daily or monthly, there’s a good chance it could benefit from a thorough cleaning. In fact, there are many reasons to clean your electric or gas oven on a regular basis.

Improve Your Meals

Over time, grease and food splatters can build up along the inside of your oven and become caked on. From there, each time you turn your oven on, you could be releasing unpleasant odors not only into the air but into the food you’re cooking. By cooking in a clean oven, you may actually find that the flavor of your meals improves as well.

Self-Clean Only Does So Much

Some ovens come equipped with a “self-clean” feature that works by simply heating up the inside of your oven to an extremely high temperature. The idea is that food particles and other debris will be broken down and, in most cases, turned into ash due to the sheer heat alone. However, self-cleaning features can only do so much and generally aren’t the best (or safest) approach for cleaning an oven that hasn’t been scrubbed down in a long time.

Prevent Smoke and Fires

In the case of an extremely dirty oven, you could even end up with a fire hazard. By cleaning your oven, you can get rid of debris and other particles that could cause a fire or heavy smoke the next time you turn on your oven.

How Often to Clean Your Oven

Let’s face it. Nobody enjoys getting on their hands and knees to clean out the inside of an oven. Still, it’s one of those things that really should be done regularly for the reasons listed above. How often you need to clean your oven will depend on how often you use it and just how dirty it gets.

Keep in mind that once you thoroughly clean your oven, you may be able to extend time in between deep cleanings by using the “self-clean” feature (if applicable). In general, however, you should aim to deep clean your oven at least once or twice a year.

Cleaning Your Oven: Step By Step

Ready to clean your oven? Before you reach for that store-bought oven cleaner that’s probably loaded with chemicals, why not try a more natural approach that uses the cleaning power of baking soda and vinegar?

Remove and Wash Racks

Begin by taking out everything that’s inside your oven. This includes any oven racks, cast iron pans, pizza stones, or other dishware. Oven racks can be washed by hand; if there is a lot of built-up grease on the rocks themselves, consider letting them soak in a mixture of water and dish soap overnight.

Create and Apply a Cleaning Paste

Next, it’s time to create a special cleaning paste that will break down grease and food residue inside your oven without the use of harsh chemical cleaners. To create this paste, all you need to do is combined half a cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. The key is to create a paste that’s thick enough to spread onto the inside surfaces of your oven without dripping.

Once you’re happy with the consistency of the paste, use rubber gloves to apply it liberally to the inside of your oven. If you have a gas oven, be careful not to apply any over the gas valve inside the oven itself, as this can cause damage to the component.

Let It Sit Overnight

After the paste has been applied all over the inside of your oven, it’s time to let the baking soda work its magic. Ideally, you’ll want to let the paste sit inside the oven with the door closed overnight. If you cannot wait this long, however, be sure to let the mixture sit for at least a few hours to give it a chance to work.

Don Gloves and Scrub Away

The next morning, put a set of rubber gloves on and use a damp cloth to wipe away the cleaning mixture. By now, the mixture will likely have hardened a bit, so you may need to use some warm water and elbow grease to scrub it (along with grease and other build-ups) away. If there are any stubborn areas where there is still build-up, try spraying some white vinegar on top. This will create a reaction between the vinegar and baking soda, which should loosen up even the most difficult of build-up.

Rinse With Water

Once the baking soda mixture is scrubbed away, simply wipe down the interior of your oven with a clean, damp cloth. This will remove any remaining residue. Again, if you’re working with a gas oven, be careful to wipe around any gas valves or other sensitive components.

Dry and Replace Racks

All that’s left to do now is replace the oven racks that you cleaned earlier; by now, they should be dry. If they’re not, be sure to wipe them dry before you place them back into your oven. From there, you’re ready to get cooking!

For Professional Assistance…

As you can see, you don’t need to buy harsh chemical cleaners to get the inside of your oven looking like new again. A little baking soda, water, and possibly some vinegar is all you need to clean out your oven with minimal effort on your part.

Looking for help with cleaning other parts of your home? Maid Sailors offers a wide range of professional home cleaning and office cleaning services, and we’re proud to serve NYC and the surrounding areas. From kitchen cleaning to dusting, taking out the trash, and everything in between—we offer the services you need to keep a clean and tidy home while freeing up your valuable time.

Contact Maid Sailors today at (212) 299-5170 to find out more about our certified professional cleaning services or use our quick and easy online form to request your first appointment now.

The Beginner’s Guide to Decorating Living Rooms

Since your living room is the space where you spend most of your time, it deserves a ton of love, care, and attention. This is where you welcome your guests and hang out with your family, and that’s why your living room needs to be perfect. In order to make that happen, lots of homeowners hire professional decorators and interior designers to spice up their living room. While that’s a great idea, it’s not exactly the most cost-effective way to achieve your goals. Instead, you might want to try doing this on your own, even if you have no decorating experience. If this is something you’d like to try as well, here are a few ideas you should look into.

Focus on Your Furniture

Your furniture is the main feature of your living room, and it’s something that can make or break your design. There are lots of ideas you can explore, depending on the size of your living room and your furnishing budget. If you’re not willing to spend a ton of money, you can always find second-hand furniture in thrift shops or yard sales, and spice it up. In addition to that, you can always clean your current furniture, add some blankets and pillows, and spend almost no money at all.

Another thing you need to pay attention to is the layout you pick for your living room. You need to give every member of your family enough maneuvering space, but still keep everyone close by. Of course, you can change your layout as often as you want, and keep rotating your furniture until you’ve found a combination that works for you.

Spice Up Your Lighting

Whether you host your parties in your living room or just use it for an afternoon nap, you need proper lighting. This can transform any space from ordinary to amazing, and spicing up your lighting on your own is easier than most people think. It’s all about finding the right ideas and combinations that will work for you the most. Luckily, there are lots of different choices out there – pendant lights, floor lamps, chandeliers, string lights, etc. – and you just need to find the right setup.

What you should do first, though, is to determine the amount of natural light in your living room. If you have huge windows or live in a hot region with lots of sunny days, your interior will probably be full of natural sunlight all day long. If that’s the case, you’ll probably need to minimize your lighting as much as possible and keep it subtle. Or just use candles and add a new dose of elegance to your living room.

Open Up This Space

This is one of the oldest ideas in the book, but it’s still an effective way to introduce a massive change to your living room. Instead of being stuck in a tiny space, you can open it up and make your entire home look nicer and more appealing than ever. Doing this might not be easy, and it’s going to require quite a lot of work and time, but it’s all going to be worth it in the end. Keep in mind that open-space layouts require less decorating and furnishing because they already look inviting and cool simply because they’re so open.

One of the ways to do so is by knocking down a few walls. The wall between your living room and your kitchen, for instance, isn’t always necessary, and it’s better to connect these two spaces together. Another alternative is installing those amazing barn doors that are easy to handle and can open up your space even more. They’ll save you tons of space and add more charm to your living room, so it’s a win-win idea you might want to look into.

Keep It Personal

Your living room is the reflection of yourself and your family, and if you want to show your guests what an amazing host you are, adding a few personal touches is a must. These things don’t have to be too big or expensive, but they need to look nice and tell a story. Whether it’s your kids’ DIY projects, your sports memorabilia or your travel souvenirs, using these items as décor can go a really long way.

However, you should also include your family in this process and ask everyone to share their ideas. Your living room is one of the spaces you all use together, so everyone needs to be included in the design process. Once you do that, your family will enjoy the living room more than before, and that’s always good.

Decorating your living room isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it’s not that hard either. Try to keep things simple and unique, and you’ll be able to do quite a lot in no time at all.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Need a Clean Bedroom

Everyone needs to sleep. A lack of sleep for some people can have a lot of adverse effects on their physical and mental health. Losing just one night’s worth of sleep can make you cranky in the morning. You’ll also feel tired and very unproductive. With that said, people will do almost anything to have excellent quality sleep all the time. They might buy expensive mattresses, install a soundproof system, get dimmers, etc.

Of course, all these improvements can undoubtedly increase the chances of a person getting better sleep. What they don’t know is that there’s a sure-fire way to help you sleep properly, and that’s cleaning your bedroom.

So how does a simple clean up help you sleep well? Why can’t I just lay down on my bed? Do I really need to clean my bedroom? For one, a cleaner bed means there’s less clutter. Less clutter means you’ll feel more comfortable in your bed. Here are some more reasons why you need a clean bedroom:

No Creepy Crawlies

Some of the things that keep people up all night are pesky insects that bite or cause allergies. Insects such as ants, bedbugs, and dust mites are notorious for keeping people up for days. A clean bedroom eliminates anything that can attract this creepy crawlies.

For example, tiny food particles can attract ants to your bed. When you sleep, these ants can crawl all over you, and for sure, they will bite. Ant bites are very painful and are enough to wake up even the heaviest sleepers.

Bed Bugs and Dust mites are just as annoying. Bed bug bites might not seem painful at first, but after a while, the bitten areas of your skin can become itchy. Dead bed bugs and dust mite feces can cause allergic reactions for some people. To get rid of these insects, clean your mattress regularly, and avoid eating on your bed.

Clean Bedrooms Bring In Positivity

Aside from other stimuli that can affect sleep, negative thoughts can often keep people awake. They tend to stress things over, which can make it very difficult to sleep, even though they’re tired. To avoid adding to the negativity, clean up your bedroom and store any item that’s not being used.

Your bed should also be free from clutter. Put away any stuff that you leave on your bed. You could also try and fold your bed sheets properly so there won’t be any wrinkles for you to sleep on. Fluff your pillows as well to keep them from getting flat.

Being Tidy Keeps Us Healthy

When we clean up our bedroom, we also gather around our thoughts. A messy bedroom can represent a confused or stressed out psyche. This state is why famous authors and life coaches such as Marie Kondo emphasize tidying up as a major part of healthy well-being.

Makes Everything Easier

Since you’re sleeping inside a clean bedroom, everything you do afterward will be much easier. No more fumbling around looking for that remote control, no more messy searches for your favorite shirt. Since everything is neatly organized, you won’t have trouble finding your stuff.

A clean bedroom also makes everything more accessible when you wake up in the morning. Imagine having to wake up to a messy bedroom. Open drawers, pieces of clothing everywhere, food wrappers, garbage, it’s just a lot to take in when you wake up. Avoid stress and clean your bedroom before sleeping. That way, when you wake up, you’ll see that your room is clean and you can peacefully go on with your morning rituals.

Air Quality

Having a messy room can undoubtedly drop the quality of air inside. A messy room can have lots of dust particles and allergens that are freely floating all around you. If there are too many dust particles inside your bedroom, then the temperature inside will rise. This is the reason why most unkempt bedrooms often feel hot inside.

You could also use mattresses that use temperature lowering materials for their components. There are lots of sites that do avocado mattress reviews and reviews for other beds that use light materials. Beds that use latex as a significant component often feel cool when sleeping.

Using HEPA Vacuums

You can also use HEPA vacuums to clean up your room. HEPA means High-Efficiency Particulate Air Vacuums. These vacuums are very efficient at sucking in the dust. HEPA filters inside a vacuum can also reduce the allergens inside your bedroom. Dead bodies of dust mites and bed bugs, their eggs, and their feces can often cause allergic reactions if allowed to accumulate.

Lets You Remember Your Things

Before you can get a clean bedroom, well, you have to “clean” it first. When you clean up, you’ll get to see some of your things that often get misplaced. A lot of us often lose a sock, forget that favorite shirt, or just can’t find something that we’re looking for. Cleaning up helps us find those missing items.

Takeaway

Getting the right amount and quality of sleep is vital for the human body to function. If a person doesn’t get enough sleep, then he or she can develop a lot of physical and mental problems. Aside from reducing the effects of specific stimuli, having a clean home and a clean bedroom can make you sleep better.

Author Bio

Analisse Weathers is a writer who enjoys sharing her works with her readers. She loves writing about health and lifestyle. When Analisse isn’t writing or working, she often goes to the beach to relax and have fun.

How to Clean a Shower Head

When you clean your bathroom, you probably put a fair amount of elbow grease into cleaning your shower as well. However, if your shower head is not easily accessible, there’s a good chance you don’t bother cleaning it. Even if you can reach your shower head, you may simply give it a quick wipe down to remove water stains from the metal. After all, how dirty could your shower head possibly get?

You may be surprised. Even if you don’t touch your shower head on a regular basis, these small fixtures can actually accumulate a fair amount of bacteria and other buildup over time. Even when they look relatively clean, they could be harboring bacteria inside. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to deep-clean a shower head—and this project doesn’t involve a lot of time or elbow grease.

Reasons to Clean Your Shower Head

Okay, but is it really necessary to deep-clean a shower head? While it’s probably not something you need to do every time you clean your bathroom, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing it once or twice a year. There are a few reasons to add this little project to your list of cleaning tasks.

Improve the Flow of Water

Have you noticed that the water pressure in your shower doesn’t seem as strong as it once was? If so, then take a closer look at your shower head. If you live in an area with a hard water supply, there’s a good chance that buildup from minerals and other deposits in your water is clogging your shower head nozzles. This happens gradually over time, so you may not notice a significant difference in your water pressure until the nozzles have become significantly blocked.

By taking the time to clean your shower head, you can get rid of this buildup and enjoy a full water pressure once again.

Get Rid of Bacteria

Bacteria and even mold/mildew can accumulate inside your shower head as well. When this happens, you could be literally showering yourself with bacteria or mold spores each time you use your shower head. Keep your water as clean as possible by deep-cleaning your shower head as needed.

Save Money on a New Fixture

Perhaps a clogged shower head or other problems with your shower head has you thinking about replacing the entire fixture. Before you spend your hard-earned money on a new shower head, however, try giving your current one a deep cleaning. You may be able to restore your current fixture to a like-new condition, which will save you the time, money, and hassle of picking out and installing a brand new one. After all, shower heads aren’t cheap; they can easily cost upwards of $50.

Best Ways to Clean Your Shower Head

Now that you’ve committed to giving your hard-working shower head a deep cleaning, you may be wondering where to begin. The good news is that you don’t need to set aside a huge chunk of time to tackle this chore, nor do you need a lot of supplies. To get started, you’ll just need:

  • a scrub brush or an old toothbrush you no longer use
  • a plastic bag
  • paper towels or a wash cloth

Consult Your Shower Head Manual

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to consult the manual that came with your original shower head. This manual will contain some tips and instructions on proper cleaning of the shower head itself. You should always defer to the instructions in the manual to avoid accidental damage to the fixture itself.

If you don’t have your shower head’s manual handy, you can likely find it online or by calling the manufacturer directly.

Scrub the Rubber Nozzles

In most cases, the majority of the buildup on a shower head occurs on the nozzles where the water comes out. To get started with cleaning these nozzles out, then, it’s usually pretty effective to use a scrub brush or tooth brush. Simply scrub in small, circular motions around the nozzles to loosen up debris and buildup.

If your shower head is up very high on the wall (or if it’s a rain shower head coming from the ceiling), you may have an easier time removing it completely before cleaning. Otherwise, using a step stool may make it easier to access.

Once you’ve scrubbed debris off the nozzles, turn the shower head on to allow water pressure to push out any loose debris. If you’ve removed the shower head prior to scrubbing, you can run it underneath your sink instead.

Soak in a Cleaning Mixture

Next, it’s time to clean out the insides of the nozzles and the shower head fixture itself. This can be done by mixing equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Pour the mixture into a plastic bag and then tie the bag around the shower head itself. The idea is that the shower head should be submerged in the mixture so it can soak for up to an hour.

If you’ve removed your shower head, this step may be easier because you can simply pour the vinegar mixture into a bowl and place the shower head in the bowl.

Clean Out the Filter/Screen

After the shower head is done soaking, rinse any remaining vinegar mixture away with water. If you wish, you can also clean out the filter that is built into your shower head. However, this will involve partially disassembling the fixture, so you’ll definitely want to refer to the manufacturer’s manual before completing this step.

Once you’re happy with the cleanliness of your shower head, re-install it (if you removed it for cleaning) and run your shower as normal to make sure the pressure is to your liking. From there, you can enjoy a shiny, like-new shower head, improved water pressure, and cleaner water!

Keeping Your Shower Head Clean

If you live in an area with hard water, mineral buildup may cause problems not only with your shower head, but with other plumbing fixtures and appliances in your home as well. You may want to consider having a water softener installed in your home, which can help remove some of the minerals and other deposits from your water before it reaches your plumbing fixtures. This may help to keep your shower head (and other fixtures) cleaner and free of buildup, which can save you the time and hassle of having to clean them as frequently.

What About the Rest of Your Home?

Looking for help keeping the rest of your home clean and tidy? Maid Sailors offers professional cleaning services to suit your needs! Call us at (212) 299-5170 or book now on our website!

How to Clean White Shoes

Buying a pair of crisp, white shoes always seems like a good idea—until you accidentally step in a mud puddle the first time you wear them. The good news is that it’s possible to remove most stains from a white pair of shoes so you can keep them looking as fresh as the day you bought them. And of course, everybody deserves to have a nice pair of white shoes in their wardrobe. Not only are white shoes eye-catching, but they’re also versatile enough to be worn with many different outfits.

If you’ve been putting off buying that pair of white shoes for fear of not being able to keep them clean, relax! We’ve got some tried-and-true methods for cleaning your white shoes and keeping them clean.

Methods for Cleaning White Shoes

The specific methods you should use to clean your white shoes will ultimately come down to the material out of which they’re made and the materials/supplies you have on-hand. As a general rule, it’s always best to defer to the specific cleaning methods for the exact material your shoes are made of. This is especially important when it comes to fabric materials that may be easily damaged by harsh chemicals or cleaning methods.

Try a Magic Eraser

For non-fabric materials, a magic eraser can work wonders when it comes to removing scuff marks and other stains from the surface of your white shoes. Even if you do have fabric shoes (such as a canvas or mesh material), a magic eraser sponge can help to remove scuffs and other unsightly marks from the soles of the shoes.

Another tip about magic erasers; if you want to save some money, skip out on the “name brand” and purchase a supply of melamine foam online. This is the exact same material that brand-name eraser sponges are made out of—but you’ll get much more bang for your buck.

To use a magic eraser sponge, all you have to do is get the sponge slightly damp. From there, rub the sponge in circular motions around stains and scuff marks to watch them “magically” disappear! You can then rinse and wring out the magic eraser to use it many more times before replacing it.

Scrub With Soap and Water

If you have canvas, mesh, or other fabric materials that need to be cleaned on your shoes, you may have better luck washing them with good old-fashioned soap and water. For the best results, we recommend adding a few drops of your favorite gentle dish soap to a bowl of warm water.

From there, dip a clean washcloth (preferably microfiber washcloth) into the soap and water mixture and then scrub away in small, circular motions at any stains or discoloration on your shoes. You can then blot away excess water using a clean towel and leave your shoes out in the sun to expedite the drying process. It’s generally best to avoid putting your shoes in the dryer, as this could cause your shoes to lose their shape and become damaged.

Clean With Bleach

If your shoes are really looking worse for wear, the most effective method will likely be to clean them using a diluted bleach solution. Before working with bleach, it’s always a good idea to don some protective gloves. From there, while working in a well-ventilated area, mix one-part bleach to five parts water in a bowl or small bucket.

From there, dip a scrub brush or a toothbrush into the bleach solution until it is saturated. Scrub in small circular motions of your shoes, paying special attention to soiled and stained areas. As you work, you should be able to see your shoes become brighter and whiter. When you’re happy with the cleanliness of your shoes, use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining bleach mixture and let your shoes dry in a well-ventilated area. For best results, place your shoes in front of a fan or even outside to dry completely.

How to Keep Your Shoes Clean and White

Now that you’ve got your shoes looking bright and white once again, you may be wondering how you can keep them looking clean for as long as possible. We’ve got some practical and effective tips for making that happen so you can get as much wear out of your white shoes as possible before needing to buy a new pair.

Deep Clean as Needed

When you notice your shoes starting to look discolored or dingy, it’s time to give them a spot cleaning with one of the methods listed above. The frequency with which you’ll need to clean your shoes will depend on how often you wear them and in what conditions. However, spot cleaning your shoes in between deep cleanings will help keep them looking great.

Use a Spray Protector

If you haven’t already, now may be a good time to invest in a spray-on shoe protector. These sprays are designed to repel liquids and stains from setting into the material on your shoes. You simply spray one or two coats on your shoes and allow them to dry; from there, you can begin enjoying extra protection against stains. For the best results, apply a new coat or two every couple of weeks.

You can find spray-on protectors for your shoes at most shoe stores, but you can also purchase them pretty inexpensively online.

Keep Them Properly Stored

Make sure your shoes are being stored properly when they’re not being worn. Leaving them out in the open is a sure way to cause discoloration and staining over time. Ideally, you should keep your white shoes stored in their original box or in another covered storage container. Keeping them separated from other shoes will also help reduce the likelihood of staining.

Treat Yourself to a Professional Maid Service

Depending on how many pairs of white shoes you own and how dirty they are, you could easily spend a few hours cleaning your shoes and restoring them to their original look. This, on top of all the other cleaning and chores you have to do around your home, can easily begin eating up your already-limited free time.

By hiring a professional maid service to tackle things like vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, and more, you can free up more time to do the things you love. Maid Sailors offers dedicated cleaning services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Whether you need a deep-cleaning a regular cleaning or something in between, our certified professionals have you covered. Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 to get started or book online now!

How to Clean a Fish Tank

Having fish can be very rewarding, but depending on the type and number of fish you have, it can also be time-consuming and complex to care for them. Many fish thrive in very specific conditions and could quickly fall ill if those conditions aren’t met. Water that’s even a few degrees too warm or cold could kill a fish, as can water that isn’t properly balanced for nitrates, nitrites, or pH levels.

No matter what type of aquarium or fish tank you have, one fact remains: you’ll need to clean it regularly in order to properly maintain the tank and keep your fish healthy.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Fish Tank

Taking the time to clean your fish tank is vital for a couple of reasons.

Protect Your Fish

The most important reason to clean your fish tank is to protect your fish from diseases, illnesses, and death. When you clean your fish tank, there are generally three ideal outcomes. The first is to reduce nitrate levels in the water, which can be dangerous to fish in high concentrations. This is done by removing some water from the tank and replacing it with fresh water.

The second goal of cleaning a fish tank is to remove any organic waste that could be dangerous to fish and that isn’t caught by your tank filter. Cleaning your tank should also help to replenish essential minerals for the well-being of your fish.

Keep It Presentable

In addition to keeping your fish healthy and thriving, a clean fish tank simply looks better. This is especially important if you keep your tank in a high-traffic area of your home.

How Often Should You Clean a Fish Tank?

There is no universal answer to the question of how often a fish tank should be cleaned. This will really depend on a number of factors, including whether your tank is a fresh-water or saltwater tank, as well as the types of fish you have. In general, you should at least be testing the water temperature in your tank daily and adjusting as needed. The gravel at the bottom of your tank should also be vacuumed at least once a week.

How to Clean a Fresh-Water Fish Tank

Gather Your Supplies

There are several supplies you’ll need in order to clean your tank, including:

  • prepared water (for replacing the water you’ll be removing)
  • a dedicated bucket for removing old tank water
  • an algae scraper or scrubbing pad
  • a siphon-style gravel vacuum
  • replacement filter (if your filter needs to be changed)

Clean the Interior Glass

Begin by wiping down the interior glass using an algae pad or scrubbing brush. You may wish to wear gloves while you’re doing this to protect your hands from coming into direct contact with algae or organic waste. Remember that there is generally no need to remove your fish from the tank while cleaning, and while it may be a bit stressful for your fish while you’re cleaning the tank, it’s still less stressful than being completely removed.

Remove Water

Next, use a siphon to remove a pre-determined amount of water from the tank. You should generally replace at least 25% of your tank water each month in a fresh-water tank. Just be sure that you have prepared the same amount to replace it; this may mean conditioning the water a day ahead of time to ensure it’s ready.

Vacuum the Gravel

Next, use your vacuum to clean the gravel at the bottom of the tank. This will remove any debris that may have settled at the bottom. If you have any decorations in your tank, this would be a good time to clean them as well.

Add Fresh Water

Now, it’s time to add fresh, conditioned water back into the tank to replace the water you took out. It’s important that the water has already been brought to the proper temperature and that it has been conditioned before you add it. In most cases, this will mean preparing the water the day before and allowing it to sit overnight. Before adding the water to the tank, it’s a good idea to test it for nitrates, nitrites, and to ensure the pH level is correct.

Monitor Your Fish

Finally, swap out your tank filter if needed; in most cases, filters will need to be cleaned or replaced about once a month. From there, keep a close eye on your fish to make sure they’re getting acclimated to the new water and that there are no signs of distress.

How to Clean a Saltwater Fish Tank

Cleaning a saltwater fish tank isn’t very different from cleaning a fresh-water one. The main differences to keep in mind are that the salinity and pH levels need to be very precise in a saltwater tank, so it’s best to use distilled or reverse osmosis water when replacing the water in this type of tank.

From there, you’ll also need to add a one-step salt mix (available at most pet stores) and aerate the water before it can be brought to temperature and added to the tank. The ideal water temperature for most saltwater fish is between 73 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

For a saltwater tank, you should also aim to replace 10% of the water every two weeks for the best results. This will ensure that nitrates are properly removed from the water.

You’ll also need to watch for something called “salt creep” in a saltwater tank, which leaves a white film near the waterline of your aquarium. In most cases, this can be easily removed with an algae pad or even a damp cloth.

What About Your Other Cleaning Needs?

As you can see, maintaining a clean fish tank can be a time-consuming job. However, a well-kept aquarium can add beauty to your home, and caring for fish can be quite rewarding. Still, if you’re looking for some help with your other household cleaning tasks, Maid Sailors is here for you.

Reclaim some of your valuable free time by trusting our professional maids to tackle your vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and other cleaning needs. We offer regular and deep-cleanings, as well as specialized services such as move-in/move-out cleanings as well. And all of our services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee so you can enjoy additional peace of mind with your booking.

Find out more about all that Maid Sailors has to offer by giving us a call at (212) 299-5170 today! You can also use our online form to book your first cleaning with our team in a matter of minutes.

How to Clean Wicker Baskets

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

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

Reasons to Clean Your Wicker Baskets

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

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

Time to Clean Your Wicker Baskets?

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

Routine Care and Cleaning

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

Deep Cleaning Your Wicker Baskets

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

A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Wicker Baskets

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

Empty Them Out and Dust Them

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

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

Create a Cleaning Mixture

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

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

Dry With a Microfiber Cloth

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

Keeping Your Wicker Baskets Clean

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

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

For More Help With Your Cleaning Tasks…

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

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

How to Clean an Area Rug

Area rugs can serve a practical purpose of better defining the open spaces in your home. At the same time, a well-placed area rug can provide warmth and comfort on otherwise cold or uninviting floors while also making a design statement within your space.

Still, if you have area rugs in your home, you’ll also need to add one more cleaning task to your list: cleaning your rugs. It’s not the most exciting chore in the world, and the process of deep-cleaning a large area rug can actually be quite laborious—but it’s an important part of keeping your home clean and refreshed.

By knowing how to deep clean your area rugs and keep them fresh in between deep cleanings, you can keep your space looking and feeling great.

The Importance of Cleaning Area Rugs

Even if your area rugs don’t look dirty, it’s important to clean them on a regular basis for quite a few reasons.

Get Rid of Allergens and Bacteria

Area rugs, just like carpet, can easily collect allergens, dust mites, bacteria, and other debris. Some of this can irritate your respiratory system, especially if you (or anybody living under your roof) suffer from a condition like asthma or allergies. By taking the time to deep clean your area rugs, you can pull the majority of those allergens, dust, and other debris out from the fibers of the rug and enjoy improved indoor air quality.

Prolong the Life of Your Rug

Area rugs aren’t cheap; depending on the material, size, and quality of your area rug, there’s a good chance you paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars! By cleaning your area rug regularly, you can keep it in the best possible shape and avoid having to prematurely replace your rug down the road. That saves you some hard-earned money and the time/hassle involved in picking out and laying down a new rug.

Present Your Space With Pride

When your area rugs are clean, you can entertain guests with confidence. Take more pride in your home by keeping your rugs clean, especially in high traffic areas.

How Often to Clean an Area Rug

How frequently you should clean your area rugs will really depend on how much foot traffic they see. Rugs in areas of very high traffic, such as hallways and living rooms, will need to be cleaned more often than area rugs in less frequented areas of your home, such as an office or guest bedroom.

Regardless, you should aim to clean your area rugs at least once every week or two—although a deep cleaning may only be necessary once or twice a year.

Basic Care and Cleaning for an Area Rug

Basic cleaning of an area rug will help to remove surface debris and keep your rug looking its best in between deep cleanings. You don’t need much time (or much in the way of supplies) to do a maintenance cleaning on an area rug.

Before You Get Started…

Always check the care instructions on your area rug’s label, which should be located underneath the rug itself. Defer to those instructions above all else, as some rugs may be made of fabrics and materials that are delicate or need to be cleaned a specific way.

Shake it Out

While most area rugs will be too large to completely remove from the room and “shake out” outside, you may still be able to lift the corners and sides of your rug and give them a few good shakes to loosen up the debris.

Neutralize Odors

Next, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda over the surface of your area rug. You can also use a store-bought carpet-refreshing powder, which will likely contain baking soda and a scent. If you’d prefer to avoid additional chemicals or want to save money, however, baking soda will work just as well to neutralize odors without adding any artificial scents or perfumes.

Vacuum With Care

After letting the baking soda sit for a few minutes, vacuum your area rug thoroughly; depending on the pile and thickness of the rug, you may need to adjust the height settings on your vacuum to achieve the best results.

What About Deep Cleaning?

Once or twice a year, aim to give your area rugs a deep cleaning to remove surface stains and tough debris. Again, be sure to check the care instructions on your rug before you get started. While many rug materials (such as cotton and wool) can be cleaned using this method, others may become damaged if exact care instructions aren’t followed.

Hand-Wash With a Homemade Cleaner

Begin by running a vacuum over your area rug to remove any loose dust, pet hair, or other debris. From there, create your own cleaning mixture by combining a bucket of cold water with a cap of your favorite laundry detergent. Next, using a scrub brush or some clean microfiber rags, begin working in one corner of the rug by dipping the brush/rag into the mixture and scrubbing away in circular motions. Repeat this process until the entirety of the rug has been scrubbed.

Next, “rinse” the cleaning mixture away using clean, damp rags–again working out from one corner of the rug. Be careful not to drench the rug’s fibers with water. You should be able to blot them most of the way dry using a few clean towels when you’re done. However, you may be able to speed up the drying process by using a couple of strategically placed fans. Try to avoid walking on your rug until it has had a chance to dry completely.

When to Get Help From a Professional

Very large area rugs or those made of delicate materials may need to be professionally cleaned. If this is the case, check with local dry cleaners or carpet cleaners to see which option will be most practical and cost-effective for you.

Save Time With a Maid Service

Even if you only have one area rug in your home, you can easily spend most of an afternoon deep-cleaning your rugs. The good news is that you can reclaim your valuable free time in other ways, such as by hiring a professional maid to clean the rest of your home. Maid Sailors offers a number of office cleaning services and home cleaning services to save you time and hassle, including deep-cleaning and move-in/move-out cleaning. We even offer organization services to help bring more order to your everyday life!

Find out more about all that Maid Sailors can do for you by calling us at (212) 299-5170. You can also schedule an appointment with us using our convenient online form.