How to Maintain & Clean Your Leather Couch

Have you been wondering how you can maintain your leather couch? After all, it is an investment, and you will want it to last a long time. Below are some tips to maintain your leather couch.

Maintenance

  • You need to keep your leather couch away from sunlight if not, it will lose its color. It will also get dry and start cracking.
  • It is not only sunlight that makes your leather couch lose its moisture. Other sources of heat such as your fireplace, air conditioner, and the heating ventilator will dry your leather couch. You will want to keep your leather at least 10 inches away from any of these sources of heat. This will help you preserve the moisture content of your couch and its surface properties.
  • Some cosmetics and hair chemicals affect the top layer of your couch. The same goes for the oil secreted by the neck and the arms. That is why you see the arms of leather couches look lighter than other parts.
  • Remember your leather couch is not resistant to a pet’s claw scratch. Your pets’ saliva is acidic and can also get your couch damaged. While you may not stop your pet from sitting on the couch, you might want to get a protective covering for them to sit on.
  • Do not let stains set. The best practice is to remove stains as soon as they are made. Letting them set poses more difficulties in their removal. So when you have any spill whatsoever, what you should do is dab it off immediately. Do not wipe for any reason; wiping spreads the spill and if it is a penetrating spill, the area affected just gets larger.
  • Whatever you do, take a conscious effort to protect the top layer, also referred to as top color, of your couch. This top color is particularly vulnerable to soil and wear, and when destroyed, your couch deteriorates very fast and you will begin to notice cracks.
  • Clean and condition regularly.

Cleaning

In cleaning your leather couch, the rule is little-is-much. You need to be extremely gentle with it; no wet clothes, no harsh cleaning reagents, no ammonia based reagents and definitely no bleach. While you don’t want to spoil your couch with excessive cleaning, it will benefit from a quarterly cleaning. That means you get to clean it every 3 months or at least twice in a year. However, a weekly dusting with a soft cloth or feather duster is appropriate. You need to regularly turn and fluff the cushion too.

If the couch was used heavily over the week, you can vacuum. But remember to use the soft brush attachment. You don’t want to spoil your couch with the plastic attachment. So, for the quarterly or twice a year cleaning, you can follow the procedure below:

  • Vacuum to remove dust before cleaning, because dust can be abrasive, especially when it becomes wet with the cleaning solution.
  • Prepare the cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of vinegar and water or commercial leather cleaner and water. You may as well use moisturizing soaps.
  • Soak the cleaning cloth (preferably a soft microfiber) in the cleaning solution and wring out such that it is damp and not wet.
  • Wipe the couch from top to bottom with the soft cleaning cloth and rinse the cloth in the cleaning solution when necessary.
  • When you are done with that, you need to dry the couch with a towel. Do not use a blow dryer; it might just dehydrate the leather.
  • Condition after cleaning.

Conditioning

Conditioning leather makes it shine at its best. Your leather couch will benefit so much from conditioning. Of course, you don’t want it looking dry and rough; you want it conditioned. So, to condition your couch you can do the following:

  • Prepare the conditioning solution by mixing one part vinegar to two parts linseed oil or flaxseed oil.
  • Apply the conditioning solution to your couch with a soft cloth in broad and circular motions.
  • Leave overnight and buff with a clean cloth the next day to restore the shine of your couch.

Removing Stains

The methods to remove stains depend on the type of stain. You will benefit from the information below:

  • Mold and Mildew Stains: Clean with a soft cloth that is damp from a cleaning solution made from equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water.
  • Marker and Ink Stains: You can clean stains from permanent markers with aerosol hairspray and ink stains with eucalyptus oil or rubbing alcohol.
  • Dark Colored Stains: To remove dark colored stains from a light colored couch, you need to make a paste from equal parts of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Rub the paste on stains, leave for ten minutes and then rub a small quantity of the paste on the stain again. Afterwards, wipe off with a damp sponge.
  • Grease Stains: To remove grease stains, you just need to put some baking powder on the grease, leave for a while and then dust off the powder. The powder should lift the stains along with it.
  • Stubborn Stains: You may need the service of a professional to remove some very stubborn stains, in order not to get your couch damaged.

Now you can enjoy your investment in your leather couch maximally. Keep it clean and you will love it for a very long time.

P.S: Don’t forget to spot test your cleaning solutions, or any reagent you are using, on an inconspicuous part of the couch to avoid damaging your couch with unsuitable solvents.

Fixing A Dishwasher That Won’t Drain

Having a dishwasher that won’t drain can be frustrating and repairing it through a service provider can be expensive. Repairing a dishwasher is not a difficult process. The key is to troubleshoot your machine to identify the source of the drain problem and then fix it. Below we have provided you with a list of the most common issues for a dishwasher that won’t drain.

 

Check the Door Latch

An unlatched dishwasher door will keep your dishwasher from draining. Believe it or not, this is the most common problem that people overlook when troubleshooting a dishwasher that won’t drain. If the door is unlatched, latch it and check it again to see if it drains.

Check for Clogs

The most likely cause for a dishwasher drainage problem is a clog. Over time, your filters and pipes can fill up with food particles and other items that don’t always make it out of the plumbing system. You can remove clogs by doing the following:

  • Remove and clean all food traps and filters
  • Use a snake on the hoses and pipes
  • Run your garbage disposal with hot water as your dishwasher operates

Regular cleaning plays a big part in keeping your dishwasher working properly. Since most drain issues are the result of clogs, you should be sure to properly rinse your dishes before loading. Also, regularly wipe out and clean the inside of your dishwasher with a mild cleaning solution or use a commercial cleaning tablet on an empty wash every so often. When you keep it free of debris, you keep your water flowing smoothly.

Check your Garbage Disposal Drain Plug

If you’ve recently installed a new garbage disposal unit, this may be the source of your drain problems. Your garbage disposal is linked to your dishwasher, and a new garbage disposal comes with a special part that can keep your washer from draining. If you have installed a new disposal, look for the knockout plug. The drain plug in your garbage disposal (usually a small plastic or metal insert) should be removed.

Check the Drain Valve

Normally, as this valve gets power during the drain cycle, it opens a solenoid and allows water to drain. But not all dishwashers use this valve. If yours does, and if it is not working, you may need to replace it.

Check the Belt

Some older dishwashers may use a belt driven pump. If the belt has come off or is slipping then the pump that drains the washer won’t function properly. Inspect the belt for signs of wear or stretching and replace it if required.

Check the Float

The float switch on your dishwasher may get stuck, causing water to remain in the appliance between washes. Depending on your washer, this may be a small float nestled in a corner or a hat-shaped device on the floor of your dishwasher. A broken float will require replacement or repair.

Check the Motor

Finally, a malfunctioning motor may not be able to pump the water out of the machine and into your plumbing. If you suspect a motor issue, it’s best to call in a professional to assess your motor and perform any repairs or replacements safely.

FAQS: Why is it Important to Hire a Company that’s Bonded, Licensed, and Insured?

When looking for a cleaning service it’s important to hire one that’s bonded, licensed, and insured. Hiring a bonded house cleaning company is the best way to ensure your possessions are safe. It’s also a way to protect both you and the workers from any liability due to loss and damages.

Naturally, there are several types of insurance and bonds available for cleaning companies. The higher the level of coverage, the safer it will be to hire them. Let’s take a look at what it means for a company to be named bonded, licensed, and insured.

What Does it mean to be Bonded and Licensed?

Most businesses require you to obtain a license in order to operate.So it’s important to know if the company you choose to hire has a license and is legally allowed to run and operate their business lawfully. Bonding, on the other hand, is not typically required to run a business but it’s a very important aspect. Bonding is basically a type of insurance. It’s an insurance that ensures you your belongings will be safe and secure while the company you hired is working in your home. Or on your property.

Are There Different Types of Bonding?

There are two basic types of bonding: Fidelity and Surety. Fidelity bonding covers loss of money, property or valuables due to theft by employees. Surety bonding ensures the company can hire another cleaner to finish the job in the event that that original employee was unable to complete the task for any number of reasons.

Why is it Important to Hire a Company that’s Bonded & Insured?

Hiring a bonded house cleaning company is extremely important for many reasons. You want to protect your possessions from theft and damage, on-site injuries, and any liability while the company is in your home. Believe it or not, over 40% of all theft claims are traced back to cleaning companies.

But don’t let that scare you. That’s why it’s important to hire a company that’s bonded and insured. This way if something happens, they’ll cover the cost.

Hiring a professionally licensed company can also help you to know who’s in your home. Most company insurance policies require background checks on employees. This helps to ensure no criminals are (or anyone that’s likely to partake in criminal activity) enters the workspace.

Finally…

Making the decision to choose a company that’s bonded, licensed, and insured is critical to keeping your home and family safe. And not only do you want to remain safe and secure, as a customer you want to ensure you’re getting what you paid for. You want to work a company that’s professional and that has taken the necessary steps to secure their business. Not only for them but for you too.

 

Here at Maidsailors we are bonded, licensed, and insured. Click here to read about us.

Be Productive: Maid Sailors’ Motivation Builder

Finding The Motivation

A wise man once said, “Everybody wants to be a gangster until its time to do gangster things.” While this quote isn’t directly applicable here, we can apply some valuable insights that can ultimately make you more productive at home. After all, isn’t it true that when it comes to doing something in your apartment, like maintenance work or cleaning, suddenly something else comes up (e.g. Netflix)? Everything else suddenly seems like an emergency and needs your undivided attention (“OMG, did they really go to brunch without me?”). What about the work you had to do? Well, you can do it tomorrow, or the weekend, or better yet on Monday.

Don’t worry, if this is the case – it’s the reality for many people. We all have problems finding the motivation to clean and take care of our apartment, which is why there are reliable services and various other avenues for fixing your leaky sink or replacing your faucets. However, if hiring help is out of the question given your budgetary constraints, it is time to get motivated.

Finding the motivation to “do stuff” often comes down to changing small habits, which can be done rather easily with some minimal daily dedication. Here are some general guidelines that you can implement in order to get stuff done.

  • Develop a routine – This may sound impossible, with your busy schedule and all that, but the truth is that having an established routine will help you not only with cleaning and other jobs around the house but also with everyday activities. Imagine this scenario – you come back every day from work, you have dinner and you put the dishes into “that pile in the sink” till the pile becomes a bacterial Mt. Everest. How do you possibly find the motivation to clean them all now? When all you want to do after dinner is watch Orange Is The New Black? If you devoted just 3 minutes to wash the dishes after every meal each day they’d end up in your cabinets by the end of the week. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Try to squeeze in 3-5 minute routines during the earlier parts of the week to make life easier when the weekend rolls around. You’ll find that it’s easier to convince yourself to complete tasks when they aren’t gargantuan in the first place.
  • Start small – Building on the previous point, doing one simple task at a time can also help bolster motivation and prevent tasks from taking up your day. It is OK if you cannot climb the mountain on the first day (and you shouldn’t expect to). Instead, stand at its base and figure out how to make the first step. It will be super effective to write down a plan and stick to it (e.g. I will do X first, Y second and Z third). This method is especially helpful when it comes to domestic cleaning, where tasks can be numerous and unrelated. Start with one chore at a time. And eventually, it will all be done by the end of the day.
  • Make it fun – It is true that almost nobody likes mild cleaning, but it must be done. Thus, why not make it fun? Create a cleaning playlist, and unleash your inner Michael Jackson with the vacuum cleaner or mop. Time will pass quickly and the idea of cleaning won’t conjure negative associations within your brain. Prepare some treats or a drink you enjoy. Promise yourself will consume them only when you are done with your tasks (which you’ve written down). Instant Nutella.
  • Remember, you’re doing God’s work – Tidying up your place has real, tangible benefits that you can see, and even those you can’t. Small adjustments keep your apartment fresh and well sanitized. Once your place looks clean, you’ll probably feel more comfortable inviting friends over or sitting down to do some work. If you’re truly overwhelmed and you’ve let things spiral out of control, you can always call Maid Sailors and we’ll show you how it’s done.

Remember

You can apply these tenets to the workplace, or other areas of your busy life. Motivation is like a muscle. It can be a powerful tool but needs to be regularly challenged and “built” over time. Be patient, prioritize properly, start small and watch the results.

How to Have Fresh Footwear Forever

Ladies – let’s face it. As Generation Y continues to avoid home ownership and investing in the market, your shoes may realistically be your most important investments. You must maintain your investments by cleaning your footwear regularly. Louboutins (“Loubs”) are for looking, not smelling. Further, you need different strategies for different shoes. After all, we learn at a young age that one pair of shoes (heels or otherwise) cannot suffice for all occasions.

Maid Sailors understands that many women have a diversified portfolio of footwear. We’d like to educate our female (and male) readers on different methods for different materials. Cleaning your footwear can be daunting, especially since most shoes don’t come with washing instructions and one mistake can essentially send 500 dollars down the drain. Here’s a helpful overview of maintaining your footwear portfolio. Feel free to reach out to a Maid Sailors representative for detailed advice.

 

1. Trainers and Sneakers 

Sneakers that are made out of soft materials can be thrown in a washing machine with a mild cleaning detergent (hand washing also works). If you employ the washing machine strategy, you’ll want to avoid two possible pitfalls: shrinkage and damage. Set the machine to “cool wash” to avoid discovering a smaller, baby-sized pair post-wash and add softer items (towels, sheets) to reduce potential damage from continuous bouncing; lastly, spin them to shun excess water. After washing, allow your prized Pumas to dry naturally, versus using a tumble dryer – you’ll avoid melting certain components of the shoes.

Don’t have access to a washer? Hand washing is super simple. Mix up a solution of washing detergent and baking soda. Apply this magic juice within the shoe and let it soak. Use a small brush (e.g. spare toothbrush) to scrub the outside of the shoe and then rinse it clean. Let the shoes dry naturally and they’ll be ready for Barry’s Bootcamp the next morning.

 

2. Leather Boots 

Leather footwear should never be put in the washing machine. Water is like Ebola to leather. Instead, apply a special polish to your leather boots and shoes that can be purchased cheaply at most department stores. Before applying, brush off any excess dirt remaining on your shoe. Afterwards, place a healthy amount of polish on a cloth and apply the product in a circular fashion (you can choose whether you want to go clockwise or counter-clockwise). After thoroughly buffing your shoes, use a clean cloth to remove any excess polish. If there’s an odor, you can apply a disinfectant, de-odorizing spray (commonly found in Foot Locker, or any department store).

If you’re nervous about handling leather, feel free to take the shoes to a local cobbler or shoe-repair shop (for those in NYC, Eddie’s Shoe Repair is super cheap) and ask for a shoe shine. They’ll revitalize your shoes; the only drawback is you might have to wait a little while (ugh).

 

3. High Heels 

High heels are the high-maintenance Disney princesses of the footwear universe. Not only are they difficult to walk in, but they’re difficult to clean. A washing machine may remove dirt and mud, but will often create holes in the fabric or cause breakages in brittle heels. Long story short – swerve when you see the washing machine.

Hand-cleaning is your best strategy for these assets. First, use a dry cloth to brush off any visible dirt or mud. Next, use a dampened, cool cloth to rub embedded stains. For stubborn blemishes, make a mild detergent cleaning solution (like we discussed for leather footwear) and start blotting. Rinse any soap from the cloth and lift any detergent from the shoe’s material. Lastly, use a clean dry cloth to absorb any excess water in the fabric to avoid watermarks. Now you’re ready for ladies’ night.

4. Suede

Suede shoes are unique and require a one-of-a-kind cleaning approach. If you really care about your shoes, buy a suede cleaning kit for $20 (or less) on Amazon.  You’ll have a special brush (looks like an oversized toothbrush a Sumo Wrestler may use), which you can use to remove dry dirt that has accumulated over time. This process should also eliminate any scuff marks or imperfections in the suede. For particularly stubborn marks, you can use a pencil eraser to get rid of them (yes, pencils are still useful in 2015). To finish, apply the material-protector spray and de-odorize the inside. Your friends in the Hamptons will be #VeryJelly.

This helpful article received contributions from London Carpet Cleaning.

Check Out These Top Cleaning Blogs

Cleaning is such a stressful task. Unfortunately, civilized people like you are obliged to clean your house, mow your lawns, and dust your furniture. That even more pressing if you are a mother or a homemaker. It is not only an obligation or responsibility. It becomes a mission. It is your mission to your house to the best that it can be. Some people have even reached the point of making cleaning and organizing their passion. The task is always a part of their system. The greatest thing is that they are loving that feeling of making their responsibility into a passion.

Unfortunately, some people physically can’t do a proper cleaning and organizing on their own. They most likely need help to keep things organizes in their homes. This is where the power of the Internet steps in. If you are having trouble getting tour house and belongings in order, the following blogs can help you get on track. It does not matter if you are single, a mother, a single mom, or a single dad. These blogs can help you while you struggle to achieve cleanliness in your home.

The good thing is that the trait pf cleanliness and organization can be acquired over time. Even if you are not an organized person right now, you have the capability to be better when given time. If you find the necessary time to learn how to organize your house stuff, you can definitely master the art of organizing and arts and crafts in the hone. You can always ask for the help of friends or relatives. However, it will be easier if you just log online and search for blogs that specialize in cleaning. These blogs do not need to be very popular as long as they can give you the proper advice for the home organizational problem you are encountering right now.

If you love organizing:

IHeart Organizing – iheartorganizing.blogspot.com

This blog is all about organizing. It mostly deals with the right cleaning and organizing of tour belongings. However, you can also find tips on designs and crafts within this blog. The writer is very passionate about everything that involves organizing. Iheart organizing can help you with anything. You can always check on this blog whenever you have trouble with your household stuff.

Organizing in itself is an art. The proper organization of things takes a lot of logic and art. You can achieve proper organization with your home when you know how to tap with the right sources. You must be thankful to come across with this blog.

If you love cleanliness with style:

The Domestic Life Stylist – thedomesticlifestylist.com

If you are the type of person who values cleanliness and at the same time a good sense of style, this is the place to be. Blogging about getting your house organized and placing style on your arrangement of things are two very different things. Fortunately, this blog has achieved those very qualities. You can get all types of nuggets and tips regarding style and home management with this blog. You will definitely thank the blogger after you have visited this blog.

You can always check style with home magazines. However, checking the tips of this blog can get you faster results than waiting for the arrival of the subscriptions from home magazines.

If you love DIY projects:

Clean & Scentsible – cleanandscentsible.com

Homemaking and organization are not just about an arrangement. You can also achieve this with little DIY projects you go home. There is nothing more fun than crafting little projects that can make your house more beautiful and stylish. If you have the talent, you can even turn your house into a fascinating home of various arts and crafts.

You can even involve your kids or your other relatives when you want to start a DIY home project. It can be a home decor. It can be a furniture. It can be a shelf or a closet to better organize your home essentials. The important thing is that you get to spend quality time with your family while doing something beautiful for your home.

If you love advice in homemaking:

Hallee the Homemaker – halleethehomemaker.com

Being a mother is already a difficult task. However, being a homemaker is another story altogether. When you are a homemaker, you have to take care of everything–from taking care of your children to taking out the trash. All that is the responsibility of the homemaking. This blog can help become a better one.

Everyone will need the right advice in order to be on the right track. All you have to do is get a very reliable adviser to give you the right tips and guidelines. You just have to be careful with your selection. Thankfully, you will get very great advice on this blog.

If you love to multitask:

The Marathon Mom – themarathonmom.com

Mothers have various responsibilities. That is a fact. However, if you have other responsibilities other than the responsibilities of the home, this blog can help you get more organized. Your life may be chaotic right now, but a few tips from this blog can get you more organized.

Some say that multi-tasking is a misconception. They say that people do not really multitask. They are just very good at switching from one task to another. However, it does not diminish the capabilities of a mother to show that she can multi-task. That still is a very remarkable trait.

If you love the idea of working from home:

The Mom Writes – themomwrites.com

Work-at-home moms probably get twice the stress of the regular mom. It does not matter what kind of work it is–whether it is a writing job or something that involves outdoor activities. Working always takes its toll on a person. Imagine the stress it will give to a devoted mother.

When a mother works at home, it usually means that she can take care of herself better. However, it does not usually mean that she can take care of her children to the best of her abilities. A work-at-home mom has more responsibilities than the regular mom. She should have more help in keeping her responsibilities.

If you have OCD impulses when it comes to cleanliness:

Organized, Clean and Design – organizedcleandesign.blogspot.com

OCD is a disease. It does not necessarily involve the addition of being clean all the time. However, it does involve a certain obsession with having control. If you are the type of person who has an almost obsessive-compulsive desire for organization and cleanliness, then this is the blog you should get updates from. You and the blogger will definitely agree with so many things.

If you have trouble managing the home:

The Frazzled Homemaker – thefrazzledhomemaker.com

You may be a first-time mother. You may be a newly divorced single parent. You may be a single parent who cannot seem to get the hang of things. If you are going to get updates on this blog, it will only mean one thing. You have a lot on your plate. You are a busy parent. If you are having trouble with dealing things in your home by yourself, you can always look for tips on this very helpful blog.

A newly divorced parent or a single mom should not keep that status from keeping him or her from living. A single parent should have other thoughts than trying to keep his or her household together. This blog can greatly help a single parent organize his or her personal and social life. This blog can effectively give updates and tips to the personal and professional responsibilities of a single parent.

If you are a first-time mother:

Mommy Survival – mommysurvival.info

If you are a first-time mom, getting updates from this blog can help you more than you care to know. This blog gives tips, advice, and guidelines for every first-time homemaker that screams for help. This blog can help you with so much house care and homemaking matters that you might end up embracing the blogger when you see her. Only a first-time mother realize how this particular blog can make her home life so much better.

If you are clumsy when it comes to cleaning and organizing:

Wonder Woman I’m Not – wonderwomanimnot.com

You might not be a mother. You might be single. You might even be a professional living freely in the city. However, if you have a serious problem with cleaning and organizing, you are a serious case that screams for help. You can always go to a therapist of course. However, the fastest way is to go online and check out tips and pieces of advice on how to organize your house better. The more logical and practical choice is to go online of course. So, if you happen to decide on going online for help in organizing your home, you can always rely on this blog to get your stuff together. You do not always have to be passionate to have an organized home. You just have to be willing to change.

Cleaning Aftermath: Post-Renovation Disaster Management

The Cleaning  Aftermath

If you’re having your apartment or house renovated then you really should start thinking about cleaning your place, post-renovation, which is when the real work begins! Builders and renovators are not professional cleaners. Thus, after they’re finished installing your new kitchen or fixing your bathroom, all that dust floats from room to room. It gets stuck on every surface, leaving no orifice behind! Unfortunately, for situations as heavy as this, a simple sweep or quick mop of the floor just won’t do.

The best solution is to invest in hiring seasoned, professional cleaners (like Maid Sailors), which will save you a lot of time, trouble, and potentially, injury. But, for those brave souls who choose to go it alone, we’ve drafted these tips on how to eradicate all of that dust and grime from your newly renovated living space!

Post-Renovation Disaster Management

  • Anticipate the storm. First off, there’s nothing like preparation and taking extra precautions to make sure dust doesn’t damage any of your electrical appliances or furniture. Do this by covering all your home items with plastic sheeting and/or bags and make sure they are well sealed with duct tape.

    Another very useful tip: keep windows open during renovations. This will allow a lot of dust and stray particles to venture out into the wild (versus settling in your living room). Most people don’t bother with preparation and begin the cleaning process after the builders have completed renovations. Don’t end up like most people. If you do a little preparation, you will avoid costly mistakes!

  • Dealing with floor dust. The last builder just walked out of your door and left you the delightful early Christmas present of a white, dusty floor. However, before you reach for that broom, think again! Sweeping dust usually means you’re just transporting it somewhere else, so why waste your precious time and energy? Sweeping is only a good idea if there are larger pieces of debris on the floor.

    First, in order to avoid suffocation, make sure the room is well ventilated. Next, use your vacuum cleaner to pick up the initial first-round of that stubborn dust. You’ll notice that after all of your cleaning and clearance efforts, there will still be some stubborn dust remnants. Finish the job by mopping your floor quickly, ultimately ridding your floors of that pesky dust. Extra credit goes to those who use a strong domestic cleaning product; while you’ll notice smudges on your floor at first, these will subside after a quick second coat.

  • Dealing with more dust. Now it’s important when cleaning to remember that builders’ dust doesn’t just limit itself to landing on your floor! It gets trapped on skirting boards, windowsills, shelves and just about any other surface in your living space. Ultimately, you can use a damp cloth. Pick it all up and really get into those tight corners.

Remember, if all of this sounds like too much work and you don’t have time to effectively prepare you can hire professional cleaners who will get the job done and leave your counters sparkling. In any case, remember that patience is paramount to a successful builder. If you rush it you won’t do a very good job. It’s important to be as thorough. After all, it is your home!

Clean Out Your Apartment, Not Your Wallet – Your Guide to Buying Cleaning Supplies

Money may not buy happiness, but one thing is clear: careful budgeting is one of the secrets to a happy family. Lots of the items available in stores today have a high cost; if you don’t plan carefully and truly assess your needs, you may be overpaying for fancy, shiny things you don’t need. You won’t be cleaning every day (if you plan on it, please contact Maid Sailors for employment opportunities), so your strategy should be as follows: invest in high-quality products that will serve as “necessities” which will ultimately preserve the hygiene of your living space.

We’re here to upgrade your cleaning kit on a tight budget; consider the following factors: What do you need? What can you do without? How big is your living space? Keep these in mind as you read through the following three thrifty tips (do you like what we did there?).

1. Plan at home to buy the things you actually need

While this sounds obvious, once you walk into Home Depot / Duane Reade / Walgreens / Wherever, you will be bombarded by colorful logos and advanced engineering. The cleaning products space is very competitive and many products exist – to make matters worse, many of these products are advertised as “necessary.” To ensure you don’t blow your rent, make a list of the things you need while you’re still at home. Brushes and brooms? Window cleaners? Sponges and rags? While you’re in the shop, religiously stick to buying these items only. Also, remember to google quickly for discounts and special offers – these products are generally occupying space at various hardware and department stores and owners will often provide valuable discounts in order to clear shelf space. Here are some further tips for common household cleaning items:

  • Sponges and wipes: buy reusable only; non-reusable products will require you to do lots of shopping every week (which will make your salary disappear)
  • Buckets: Buy 1 or 2 max
  • Brushes: Buy 1 or 2 max

2. Buy in bulk

Cleaning isn’t like online dating – it requires dedication and it’s a task you’re married to for life (as depressing as that may sound). Thus, keep in mind that it’s always cheaper to buy in bulk now than it will be to make the same smaller purchase multiple times down the road. Ultimately, if you buy in bulk, you’ll save money. Determine which common items you’ll be “running out of” over the next few weeks/months (e.g. detergent, wipes, soap, paper towels). Instead of buying smaller bottles, look for larger ones and see if they’re less expensive per unit of volume. Not only will you save money on a per unit basis, you’ll eventually reduce waste – a win/win situation for both your wallet and Planet Earth.

Lastly, always keep in mind the lessons of tip 1. If there is something you don’t need, don’t buy it just because they offer bigger quantities of that product at your local store. It’s also a good idea to compare prices in different shops for larger quantities (e.g. if you know you’re going to be making big purchases, may be worth it to make the trip to Costco after all).

3. Remain eco-friendly

It’s been known for years that commercial products are fraught with all sorts of chemicals that put our health at risk and pollute the environment. Even though many companies try to hide the dangerous substances they use to make their products, it’s obvious you need to be wary of the cleaning solutions you purchase: harmful ingredients in these products can trigger many health problems such as lung diseases, skin problems, eye problems and even cancer.

Alternatively, “green cleaning” is safer, more affordable and ultimately a long-term money-saver (especially when long-term health risks are in the picture); from our perspective, eco-friendly products are a necessity if you have children, multiple roommates, and/or pets. Ultimately, once you begin using eco-friendly cleaning supplies, you’ll look at standard cleaners with disgust (similar to the way you felt about 56K after switching to Cable internet back in the day). As CityCleaners Chelsea says, “once you go green, you never go back.”

Some examples of cheap, effective and natural products are as follows: salt, lemon juice, white vinegar and baking soda. While that list may surprise you, remember that these natural products are just as effective as every-day chemical cleaners – for heavy duty cleaning, make sure to call a professional (like Maid Sailors). Further, if you want to get creative (on a budget), feel free to google for cleaning recipes that will help you prepare the right cleaning solution using the aforementioned natural ingredients. A small investment of time = large savings of cash.

Cleaning The Doorknobs

Doorknobs are one of the most highly contacted surfaces in your home, and we don’t often think to clean them on a regular basis. Wipe down a doorknob and you may be surprised by the amount of dirt that comes off of it. Bacteria aside, the oils on our hands accumulate over time on these small surfaces, attracting even more grime and foreign particles. With flu season coming up, it is important that you maintain clean doorknobs for your home!

How to clean your doorknobs

For a natural, non-toxic cleaning solution, spray the surface with vinegar and wipe dry with a clean cloth. There are products that will help remove odors, such as baking soda. Check the particular method to be sure that it does not damage the surface. Baking soda is slightly abrasive and should not be used on pieces that scratch or wear easily. If safe, baking can be added to a soap and water mixture.

There are disinfectant wipes that are quick and easy to clean with. Some common brands are Lysol and Clorox wipes. Simply wipe them over the surface of the doorknob and allow it to dry.

Focus on the knobs and handles that get the most action throughout the day: the front door, bathroom doors, refrigerator doors, microwave doors, even the little knobs on your kitchen cupboard doors.

While you’re at it, don’t forget other often-overlooked areas as well, like your light switches, remotes, and computer mouse and keyboard.

Fun Fact

A lesser-known fact is that certain metals, such as brass, actually sterilize themselves after a certain period of time, making them ideal materials for surfaces like doorknobs (It’s called the oligodynamic effect). Brass doorknobs disinfect themselves in about eight hours, while stainless steel and aluminum knobs never do. Unvarnished brass doorknobs, therefore, tend to be more sanitary than stainless or aluminum doorknobs. The effect is important in hospitals, and useful in any building where there is a lot of traffic.

Roommates You Don’t Know You Have (Until Now)

Whether you’ve been living in your studio / 2-bedroom apartment / multi-bedroom house for a while or the movers just pulled away from your street, here’s some bad news: you have roommates you don’t know about.

They are shamelessly snickering and hooting while you’re rolling out of bed (after hitting that snooze button twice), struggling to cook “Quaker Quick Oats” (saving money on breakfast means you can hit up Chipotle for lunch AND get guacamole, nah mean?) and/or pleading helplessly with your children to get in the car.

Moreover, these roommates are not helpful; they will not shine the counter-tops, rinse the dishes or disinfect the bathroom while you’re out. Instead, they will (continue to) party very, very hard, engage in unspeakable acts all over your sacred living space and sadly, won’t be showing any signs of slowing down upon your return.

Amongst amateurs, these infidels will remain dominant. They will effectively conduct guerrilla warfare by hiding in the hills and crevices of your bedroom(s), bathroom(s) and kitchen(s), striking opportunistically. While you may venture into a Duane Reade once a month, purchase some “Wet Wipes” and cause your tenacious tenants some slight distress, they will ultimately overcome your anemic assaults and continue to fester within your homeland (read: near your kids/pets / you).

The Good News

With proper, professional assistance, you can win this war in nuclear fashion. An experienced and well-equipped service (Maid Sailors) will arrive at war with an arsenal appropriate for fully sanitizing every major chamber of your home. Thereby eradicating your unwelcome guests. You don’t need to buy supplies beforehand and you certainly won’t need to store anything afterward. Maid Sailors come equipped with what amounts to a mini-Rite Aid in their duffel bags, allowing them to effectively and efficiently sterilize every square inch of your habitat.

So, exactly who are these roommates? The researchers at Maid Sailors have profiled two prominent squatters that are probably reading this article alongside you right now. (Pro-tip: if you book your cleaning now, you can probably finish reading this at a Starbuck’s while your home is secured in the meantime.)

1. Donnie the Dust Mite

Last check-in: Your bed (jumping), sheets (lounging) and pillows (napping real quick).

Hobbies: Donnie doesn’t bite but you might be allergic to him. If so, he’ll be busy posting statuses on your laptop (while you’re away) about how he made you sneeze, gave you a stuffy nose and made you cry (that itchiness of the eyes, tho).

Relationship status: Donnie isn’t a player, but he interacts a lot (if you know what I mean). Normally, Donnie might only be around for 20 days. But if he links up with his main chick (Diane the Dust Mite), she can live up to 70 days and lay 60–100 eggs during the last month of her life.

Fun-fact: Donnie is a real “sneakerhead.” He has eight legs, which means he has to buy 4 pairs of Jordans in order to remain the envy of his other microscopic friends.

Eviction solution: A professional can evict Donnie by thoroughly washing and drying your bedding (sheets, pillowcases, comforters, etc.) and exhaustively vacuuming your floors and carpets; additionally, these vacuums should have “high-efficiency particle air filters (HEPA)”, which will collect Donnie’s waste and his girl’s eggs.

2. Elizabeth Coli (Elizabeth often goes by “E. coli”)

Last check-in: As the Notorious B.I.G. line goes, “…she be sittin’ in your kitchen, waiting to start hittin’.” Your sink (her personal pool), food-ridden dishes (her beach chairs), cutting board (doing pilates) and countertop (tanning, obvi).

Hobbies: This chick can be a femme fatale as they come. If you’re not careful, she’ll make you anxious, have you sitting on a toilet seat for hours. And literally make you sick to your stomach.

Relationship status: Like Kanye West, Liz loves herself more than she can ever love another being. She will clone herself multiple times and her appetite (for herself) is sadly insatiable; within a 12 hour period, there can potentially be up to 17 million versions of Liz. Maybe having an all-out lovefest in your kitchen.

Fun-fact: This single-celled Cinderella is quite the social butterfly. In addition to her common hangouts, she’ll also be attending happy hours in your blender. And rubbing shoulders with other microbial bad girls in a litany of additional kitchen appliances.

Eviction solution: Having a professional conduct a thorough sanitary-onslaught on both your bathroom and kitchen will do the trick. A Maid Sailor will have the time and tools to disinfect your cutting boards, countertops, dishes, utensils and table surfaces. In the bathroom, anti-bacterial soaps and wipes will be used to cleanse your toilet, floors, tubs and even the handles.