How to Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Cleaning your kitchen is a laborious and time-consuming task. From mopping the floors and disinfecting countertops to cleaning out your fridge and wiping down your appliances, the chore of kitchen-cleaning is dreaded by many. However, one aspect of cleaning your kitchen that you might be forgetting is that of cleaning out your cabinets.

While it’s true that you probably don’t need to deep-clean your cabinets every single time you clean your kitchen, this is something you should be making time for every so often. When was the last time you cleaned your kitchen cabinets? If you haven’t done this since you moved into your place, then it’s probably time.

Reasons to Clean Your Kitchen Cabinets

Why should you add cabinet-cleaning to your ever-growing list of chores? There are actually a few compelling reasons to consider.

Keep Them Looking Great

For starters, think about all the grime and debris that can build up on your cabinet exteriors over time. It is not uncommon for grease particles to become airborne as you cook—and these can quickly adhere to solid surfaces, like your cabinet doors. Even if your kitchen looks clean, taking a damp paper towel to your cabinet exteriors will likely reveal some unsightly build-up. By at least taking the time to wipe your cabinet exteriors down each time you clean your kitchen, you can keep the space looking fresh and inviting.

Save Your Security Deposit

If you’re renting, cleaning your kitchen cabinets may also help you more easily recover your security deposit when it comes time for you to move out. If your kitchen has a lot of grease and grime build-up, your landlord or property manager may retain some or all of your security deposit to hire specialty cleaning services. This can be easily avoided by simply making sure your cabinets are clean before you move out.

Get Rid of Bacteria

Kitchens are breeding grounds for bacteria; just think about all the raw food and splatter you encounter when you cook up those new recipes. When grease and other food particles go airborne, they can settle on your cabinets and increase contamination and food-borne illness risk. Protect yourself and your loved ones by keeping your kitchen cabinets clean and disinfected.

How Often Should You Clean Your Kitchen Cabinets?

Since it doesn’t take long to clean your cabinet exteriors, you should be doing this every time you clean the rest of your kitchen. However, a deep-cleaning of your cabinets may only be necessary about once a year. Some people may even wait until they move out of their place before cleaning their kitchen cabinets inside and out. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you’re most comfortable with.

Cleaning Your Kitchen Cabinets: A Step-By-Step Guide

Now that you understand the importance of cleaning out your kitchen cabinets, it’s time to get started. You won’t need much in the way of supplies except for a small broom or vacuum with a hose attachment, as well as some paper towels or clean washcloths, dish soap, and an all-purpose cleaner that’s safe on your cabinet door material.

Remove the Contents of Your Cabinets

Begin by completely removing the contents of your kitchen cabinets. Some people prefer to remove everything from all their cabinets at once, whereas other may prefer to work one or two cabinets at a time. If you have a smaller kitchen without a lot of counters or floor space to set things down, you may be better off cleaning one cabinet at a time; this way, you can put the contents of one cabinet back inside before moving onto the next one.

Vacuum Out Larger Debris

More than likely, your cabinet shelves will have some crumbs and other loose debris lying around. This will become obvious once the contents of each shelf are removed. The easiest way to get rid of these is to simply use a vacuum with a hose attachment. However, if you don’t have access to one of these vacuums, you can also use a small handheld broom and mini dustpan to sweep out each cabinet and shelf individually.

Wipe Shelves and Walls Down

Now, it’s time to wipe down and disinfect the shelves and inside walls of your cabinets. If your cabinets have easily removable shelves, it may be more efficient to remove each shelf and wipe it down. This will make it easier for you to get at all the nooks and crannies, as well as the underside of each shelf. Removing shelves can also allow you to scrub at areas that may have stubborn stains or build-up.

When wiping down cabinet walls and shelves, you can use a simple mixture of warm water and a few drops of dish soap on a clean rag. Follow up by wiping away any soap residue with a clean, damp rag, and then dry thoroughly with a hand towel. This is just as effective as any chemical cleaner, but less harmful and less likely to damage your cabinets. Still, it’s always a good idea to test a small area before cleaning a larger area.

If you have removed any shelves, allow them to dry completely before you put them back in the cabinet. Not drying them promptly could cause them to warp, so it’s best to wipe them dry after you clean them than it is to let them air dry.

Wipe Down Cabinet Exterior

Finally, clean your cabinet exteriors using the same soap and water mixture. This will be safe on most cabinet door materials—but if your cabinet doors are made of real wood, you’ll want to be careful not to use too much water, as this could damage the wood. You’ll also want to make sure to dry each cabinet after wiping it down.

Another option is to use an all-purpose cleaner on your cabinet doors, so long as it is advertised as being safe for your particular cabinet material.

For More Help With Your Cleaning…

Keeping your kitchen pristine can be a full-time job on its own, so why not leave this tedious work up to a professional? Maid Sailors offers regular cleaning services to keep your kitchen looking its best, and all of our basic services include wiping down your cabinet exteriors. For a more thorough cabinet-cleaning, check out our deep-cleaning or move-in/move-out services. These include cleaning out the inside of cabinets and drawers to achieve your ideal level of clean.

Contact Maid Sailors today at (212) 299-5170 to find out more about our services or book your appointment online in minutes!

How To Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

Whether you’ve recently picked up a cast-iron skillet or have had one sitting in your cupboards for quite some time, one fact remains: cast iron skillets and pans can be intimidating to cook. Their heavy weight and cumbersome size may leave you feeling unsure if you’ve never cooked with cast iron before, but the good news is that preparing your favorite dish in a cast iron skillet is not much different than any other pan.

In fact, many people find cast iron easier to work with due to the fact that seasoned pans are naturally non-stick and extremely durable. When properly cared for, a cast-iron skillet can easily last a lifetime! By having a better understanding of the benefits of cooking with cast iron and how to properly care for your cast iron pan, you can start cooking with more confidence!

Why Cook With Cast Iron?

If you’ve never cooked with a cast iron skillet before, there are so many reasons to start.

Cook With Less Oil/Calories

If you’re trying to watch your calories or limit your intake of fats/oils, then cooking with cast iron can be one of the easiest ways to do this. That’s because cast iron pans, when properly seasoned, typically don’t require the use of any additional oil, butter, or cooking spray. This means you can enjoy all the non-stick qualities of a greased-up pan without adding unnecessary calories to your food.

Avoid Chemical Contact

What about non-stick pans? While it’s true that non-stick pans can also cut down on the amount of butter or oil you cook with, these pans are often made with non-stick chemical coatings that can get released into your food over time. If you want to avoid ingesting chemical particles from non-stick pots and pans, making the switch to a cast-iron skillet is a great way to do this.

Can Be Placed in the Oven

Cast iron skillets are also extremely versatile; unlike some other types of pots and pans, they can be moved back and forth from the stovetop to the oven without causing damage. This makes them a great choice for recipes that call for searing meat (such as steak) before popping them into the oven to finish cooking. Just be sure to use an oven mitt when transferring a cast iron pan from stovetop to oven (or the other way around), as the handles can quickly become hot.

Increase Your Iron Intake

Cooking with cast iron is also an easy yet effective way to add some iron to your food! If you have low iron levels or suspect that you do, consider cooking with cast iron before you begin taking an iron supplement (which can sometimes mess with your stomach). Of course, you should always speak to your doctor if you suspect you have an iron deficiency.

The Importance of Properly Cleaning Cast Iron

Often times, people are hesitant to cook with cast iron because they’re not sure how to properly clean these types of pans. Unlike a traditional non-stick pan, you can’t simply throw your cast iron skillet into the dishwasher when you’re done using it. Instead, you’ll need to take some special measures to care for and clean your cast iron, Otherwise, you could end up with rust and other issues that could affect your cooking experience or the flavor of your food.

Cleaning and Caring for a Cast Iron Skillet

So, what exactly do you need to do (and not do) when it comes to caring for your cast iron skillet? There may be a slight “learning curve” as you get used to taking care of a cast-iron pan, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll likely find that these durable pans are very low maintenance and can last for decades to come.

Start With a Seasoned Skillet

Part of what makes cast iron skillets so special is the coat of “seasoning” they develop over time. This seasoning refers to a layer of oils that gives your pan its non-stick qualities. Many cast iron pans sold today come “pre-seasoned” so you don’t need to do a thing once you bring your pan home. A pre-seasoned skillet will generally have a sleek black appearance, but should not be oily or greasy to the touch. Other pans, however, are not pre-seasoned—so you’ll need to do this yourself before cooking.

Clean Immediately After Use

The secret to keeping your cast iron skillet in the best possible shape for many years to come is to always clean it out as soon as possible after you’re done cooking. In most cases, the best way to clean a cast iron pan is to run it under warm water and rinse away any food debris. From there, while the pan is still wet, add a bit of kosher salt to the pan and use a soft sponge or rag to scrub away the remaining debris in circular motions. From there, simply rinse and you should have a clean skillet!

Always Dry Completely

Water and cast iron don’t mix; always be sure to completely dry your cast iron skillet as soon as you’re done washing it so that you don’t end up with rust spots.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Soap

Generally, it’s best to be as minimally invasive as possible when cleaning your cast iron skillet. The fewer chemicals you use, the better. Still, cast iron is pretty resilient so there’s no harm in scrubbing with a bit of your favorite dish soap if you have some particularly challenging food debris to get rid of.

Re-Season as Needed

If you’re finding that your cast iron doesn’t have the sheen it used to or that your food is starting to stick to the pan while you cook, then it may be time to re-season your skillet. There are many ways to do this, but perhaps the easiest way is to heat your skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop. From there, apply a couple tablespoons of cooking oil to the surface of the pan until it smokes and there is no residue left. Repeat this several times to create a new coating.

Need More Cleaning Help?

With just a little care, a quality cast iron pan can last a lifetime (and then some!). Still, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by caring for your cast iron on top of all your other household cleaning tasks, Maid Sailors can help. We offer competitive pricing and a 100% satisfaction guarantee so you can book a cleaning with confidence! Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 to get started.

How To Shrink Clothes

There are many reasons you may find yourself needing to shrink your clothes. Perhaps you’ve recently lost some weight and your clothes are beginning to fit a little baggy. If this applies to you, congratulations! You should be proud of your weight loss success, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself to some new clothes. Of course, budgets don’t always allow for the shopping spree you’d like to take—so learning how to shrink your existing clothes in the meantime may make more sense.

You may also need to shrink individual garments if you ordered them online and they fit larger than you expected when they arrived at your home. In some cases, you may be able to simply exchange the garment for a smaller size—but some online retailers don’t offer free returns, so you may actually be better off shrinking your clothes than exchanging them or buying a new size.

Regardless of your reasoning for needing to shrink clothes, the good news is that there are some tried and true methods for making it happen. All you need is a washing machine, a dryer, and an afternoon of your time!

Benefits of Shrinking Your Clothes

Regardless of your reasoning for needing to shrink some clothes in your wardrobe, there are a number of benefits you can enjoy when you learn how to shrink your own clothes.

Save Money on Buying New Clothes

It’s no secret that buying new clothes can be expensive. If you enjoy the look and style of your current clothes but have simply lost some weight, then learning to shrink your existing clothes can save you a lot of money. Even if you plan on treating yourself to some new clothes the next time you find a good sale or have some extra money to spend, shrinking your clothes can save you some money in the meantime and keep you looking your best.

Shrinking your clothes can also save you money on professional tailoring services that you may otherwise need to use to achieve your ideal fit.

Save Time By Keeping Your Current Clothes

Even if you have the extra cash laying around to buy a few new outfits, shopping for new clothes can be a huge time sink. Traveling to the mall, picking out pieces to try on, and deciding on what to keep versus what to put back on the rack is time-consuming. If you already have a busy enough life and don’t love shopping, the last thing you may feel like doing is looking for new clothes.

Cut Down on Your Environmental Impact

Getting the most use out of your clothes can help you reduce your environmental impact if this is something you’re conscious about. Extend the life of your wardrobe and avoid contributing to unnecessary waste by shrinking your own clothes rather than buying brand-new ones.

Methods For Shrinking Your Clothes

Keep in mind that not all fabrics can be easily or successfully shrunk, but many commonly used clothing fabrics (such as cotton) can!

Shrinking Cotton

Cotton is one of the most commonly used fabrics in clothing today—which is good news if you’re trying to shrink your clothes because it’s also the easiest to shrink. To shrink something that is made of 100% cotton, all you need to do is run the garment through your clothes washer in a hot-water setting. From there, toss the item into the dryer and put it on high heat.

Keep a close eye on the garment as it dries, and be sure to remove it as soon as it has achieved your ideal size. From there, you can let it air-dry the rest of the way.

Shrinking Polyester and Other Materials

Other clothing materials, such as polyesters and blends, may require a little more time and care to shrink to your liking. That’s because these fabrics are usually blended with other fibers to help them retain their original shape and size.

Generally, the best way to shrink polyester clothing and other blends is to wash them in cold water before placing them in the dryer on high heat. You’ll want to avoid using hot water to wash these fabrics because doing so can cause damage to the fibers. While drying, keep an eye on the garment and either switch your dryer to a low-heat setting or remove the garment and allow it to air dry the rest of the way when it has reached the size you want.

When to See a Tailor

If you’ve followed the above steps with your clothing and are still not seeing the results you desire, then it may be time to see a professional tailor. There’s a chance that the material you’re working with cannot be easily shrunk in the wash. Keep in mind also that some garments are “pre-shrunk,” which means they won’t shrink anymore no matter how you wash them. Pre-shrunk garments are becoming relatively common, as they are meant to help protect consumers against accidental shrinkage in the wash.

You may also need to see a professional tailor if you’re attempting to shrink an older garment, as it is possible that it has already gone through the shrinking process and cannot be altered any further without a tailor’s help.

If you’ve never taken your clothing to get tailored before, it’s actually a lot easier and cheaper than you may think. A tailor can help you achieve the perfect fit on nearly any article of clothing, giving it new life. Many tailors offer reasonable pricing and have a quick turn-around time so you can begin wearing your new-to-you clothing with confidence as soon as possible.

Speaking of Laundry…

With all this talk about clothes and laundry, when was the last time you checked all your household chores off your “to-do” list? If you still have cleaning items looming on your list even after you’ve tackled your laundry and shrinking your clothes, then maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a professional cleaning service.

Maid Sailors provides quality cleaning services and laundry service at competitive prices—and your satisfaction is always guaranteed. Whether you need regularly scheduled cleanings or something a little more in-depth, our team of insured and certified professionals is here to serve you.

Find out more about our specific cleaning services offered by giving us a call at (212) 299-5170 or feel free to book your appointment online. We look forward to helping you tackle those items on your cleaning list so you can free up more of your own precious time!

How to Clean Up Vomit

Puke happens. Let’s face it; whether it’s a pile of vomit from a sick toddler or a wild party guest, we’ve all been in the position at some point of having to clean up a bit of barf. And if you’re like a lot of people, the mere sight or smell of vomit could also make you sick. Yikes! It’s a never-ending cycle of upchuck.

And then, of course, there’s the issue of staining. When somebody vomits on carpet or upholstery, it can be difficult to completely remove the stain (and smell) for good. Getting vomit stains out of clothing generally isn’t as difficult, but can still pose some challenges. By following some of our tips and tricks, however, you can effectively remove vomit stains from just about any surface and possibly prevent yourself from getting queasy as you clean.

Cleaning Vomit From Carpet and Upholstery

Getting puke out of carpet or upholstery can be a challenge; depending on how thick the carpet is, it’s possible that chunks of vomit will have settled into the fibers and will be difficult to remove. Generally, the best way to begin cleaning up puke from carpeting, a rug, or upholstery is to first address the larger “chunks.” A piece of cardboard or even a thick paper plate can be effective in more-or-less scooping the larger chunks off the surface without having to touch them. Still, it’s a good idea to don a pair of rubber gloves before you get started.

Use an Absorbent

Once you’ve removed as much of the vomit as possible from the surface of your carpet or furniture, you’ll want to use something absorbent to pull out the remainder from carpet or upholstery fibers. Baking soda is an excellent option here and something many people keep on-hand in their kitchens and pantries. However, cat litter can also be used effectively here if you have it available.

Let the Absorbent Dry

The best method to use here is to sprinkle the baking soda or cat litter on top of the vomit stain; make sure the stain is completely covered and leave it for at least 20 minutes. This will give the baking soda or cat litter time to pull out excess moisture while also neutralizing the odor.

As the baking soda or litter sits on top of the stain, it will begin to dry and solidify. This will make it easier to clean up; in most cases, you can vacuum the remainder to avoid needing to touch any of the vomit itself.

Wipe Away and Deodorize

Don’t expect the stain to be completely removed after this, however. You’ll still likely need to follow up with treatment using a carpet stain remover and/or deodorizer. Enzyme-based cleaners tend to be best for neutralizing odors rather than just covering them up, but you can also make your own using warm water, white vinegar, and a small amount of dish soap. From there, you can apply the mixture to the stain and blot, rinse, and repeat as needed until it is completely gone and your upholstery or carpet is clean.

Cleaning Vomit Stains From Clothes

It’s not uncommon for the vomit to end up on clothes in addition to on carpeting or upholstery. The good news is that it’s generally a bit easier to remove puke from clothing due to the simple fact that you can put your clothes through a washing machine! The specific process you should follow to clean vomit from clothing will vary a bit based on the type of fabric you’re dealing with, so it’s always best to check the care/garment tag on your clothes before moving forward.

In general, however, there are a few steps you can follow to remove as much puke as possible from your clothes. Begin by scraping off as much of the residual puke as possible (you can use the paper plate or cardboard method here to avoid touching any of the vomit yourself). From there, run some warm water over the stain and then cover it with a layer of baking soda.

Next, pour some white vinegar over the stain. It will react with the baking soda and begin fizzing. While it’s doing that, scrub away at the stain using a scrub brush or an old toothbrush before tossing the soiled clothes in your washing machine for a regular cycle. It’s generally best to run them through the washer on their own or with other vomit-soiled clothes. From there, the stain should be removed—but you can repeat this process once more if there is any staining leftover.

How to Solider Through Cleaning Up Vomit

If you’re the type of person who gets queasy or even falls ill yourself when handling other bodily fluids (such as vomit), then you may need to take some additional measures to get through the process of cleaning up puke. Many people find that wearing a surgical mask or respirator mask (such as the kind you might wear while painting a room) is helpful in reducing the stench that can often cause you to gag or get sick yourself. You can also smear a small amount of Vicks (or another medicated vapor) just below your nose before you get started; the strong smell from it can help to mask any vomit odor as you clean.

Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help or take breaks from cleaning as needed. The last thing you need is to puke yourself while you’re trying to clean up another vomit stain.

Advice For Future Clean-Ups

For parents or those who deal with cleaning up vomit on a fairly regular basis, it can also be a good idea to keep a “barf box” in an easily accessible area of your home. This box should be stocked with everything you need to clean up puke, including a box of baking soda, rubber gloves, a scrub brush, vinegar, and towels. This will save you the time and hassle of compiling every item you need when the inevitable happens, which especially comes in handy when you’re dealing with a sick child in the middle of the night.

Speaking of sick kids, you can also make changing soiled bedsheets easier by following a simple method. When you make up your child’s bed, make it in two layers that are separated by a waterproof mattress cover. This means you should have a fitted sheet/sheet followed by a mattress cover, followed by another sheet set. If your child gets sick on the bed in the middle of the night, you can simply remove the top layer of sheets and the mattress cover. You’ll still have a clean set of sheets underneath so your child can get back to sleep without you needing to totally re-make the bed.

Speaking of Cleaning…

If all this talk about cleaning has you feeling overwhelmed, treat yourself to a professional house-cleaning service. Contact our team at Maid Sailors today to find out more or book now! The team also offers same-day cleaning service and office cleanings.

How to Clean Scorched Pots and Pans

Cleaning pots and pans can be one of the most difficult tasks after enjoying a delicious meal. The food residual or burnt food makes the job even more difficult as it requires extra hands-on attention. It is essential to be extra careful while cleaning tough stains on your pots and pans. As thorough scrubbing can damage the coating, especially of your nonstick pans. Thus, we have prepared this detailed guide to ensure that your loved pots and pans are not just cleaned but also protected in the process.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar comes handy in a lot of situations and cleaning your scorched pans is one of them. The combination of vinegar and baking soda is used to combat harsh stains. However, you must be careful in using the ingredients together. If you mix them, you’ll notice a volcano effect that might create even more mess to clean. Follow the steps below to clean your scorched pots and pans.

  • Add equal parts of water and vinegar to cover the base of your pot.
  • Now heat the solution and bring it to boil.
  • Let it boil for 1-2 minutes. Then empty the container by pouring the solution down the drain.
  • After this, sprinkle baking soda over the base of your pan and use a scouring pad to scrub off any remaining burn marks.
  • Now rinse clean your pot.

This is one of the easiest and fastest solutions to scorched pans as it would hardly take 10 minutes of your time. However, if you are having trouble with frequent scorched pans then you can try frying your delicious meals in ceramic pans or a carbon steel wok as it would take away the daily hassle of scrubbing and cleaning your cookware.

Salt

The abrasive nature of the salt makes it one of the most elements in cleaning the burn marks on your pots and pans. The process is pretty simple that would hardly take 5-10 minutes to regain the sparkle of your beloved cookware. Follow the below-mentioned process to clean your pots with salt.

  • Sprinkle salt on the base of your pot.
  • Now add a few drops of dishwashing liquid and half a cup of hot water.
  • After this, thoroughly scrub the container to remove any burn marks.

Note: Try getting your hands on kosher salt as it increases the effectiveness of this method.

Soda

Soda can prove to be effective against burnt grime on the base of your pans. Just grab some club soda and cover the base of your pan with it when the pan is still hot. Now let it sit for a few minutes to break down the grime and lift it from the surface. After this, wash the pan with dishwashing liquid and you’ll get back your perfectly clean pan.

Dryer Sheet

Dryer sheets are some of the most loved items in the USA due to their multiple uses. Cleaning pots and pans with dryer sheets is another one of them. It might take a bit longer than the other mentioned methods. However, it is a hands-off method that requires minimal effort and guarantees a sparkling pot at the end of the process.

  • Cover the base of your container with the solution of water and dishwashing liquid.
  • Now soak a dryer sheet into the solution and allow it to sit for an hour. The dryer sheet would break down the burnt food on your pan and lift it from the surface, making it easier for you to clean without damaging the layer.
  • After this, wash your pot with a normal dishwashing liquid and you’re done. You can welcome back your sparkling clean pot.

Tartar

The abrasive nature of the cream of tartar makes it a perfect substitute for baking soda to get rid of the burnt marks. The ease of cleaning with tartar makes it one of the most popular solutions of cleaning beloved pots and pans. Follow the steps below to restore the lost shine of your cookware.

  • Mix a tablespoon of tartar in one cup of water to form a solution.
  • Now pour the solution in your scorched pan and bring it to boil.
  • Let the solution boil for 1-2 minutes then turn off the stove and allow it to cool.
  • Now scrub the pan.

Note: Always allow the solution to cool down before starting the scrubbing process otherwise you might end up damaging the layer on your pot and also increase the risk of burn injuries.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the easiest tips to clean your scorched pots and pans and to restore their lost shine. However, you must be careful in scrubbing different pots and pans like ceramic pans or pans with Teflon coating as you might end up permanently damaging the container. Thus, the best cleaning method also depends on your particular cookware.

How to Remove Scuff Marks From Floor

If you have any kind of solid floors in your home, whether it be hardwood or tile, there’s a good chance you have some scuff marks on your floors here and there. If you’re annoyed by unsightly scuff marks that haven’t easily buffed out with a little elbow grease, then it may be time to explore other methods. The good news is that those scuff marks don’t have to be permanent; you just need to know the right methods to get rid of them based on what caused them and what type of floor you’re working with.

Do Those Scuff Marks Really Matter?

Aside from being an eyesore, are scuff marks on your floors really that big of a deal? Well, maybe. If you’re renting your place, your landlord may dock you part of your security deposit if there are scuff marks on the floors when you move out (as long as they also weren’t there when you moved in). That’s because your landlord or property manager will most likely need to hire cleaners to get rid of the scuffs prior to the next tenant moving in, which costs money.

And of course, scuff marks can really detract from the overall look and feel of your place. Depending on the type of flooring you have, scuffs could even lead to permanent discoloration if they’re not addressed quickly. This is most common on porous flooring types and laminate.

Potential Causes of Floor Scuff Marks

How did those marks get there in the first place, anyway? In most cases, scuff marks are caused by dark-soled shoes. If you wear shoes in the house regularly, there’s a good chance that’s the culprit. Check out our guide to clean white shoes. Moving furniture around can sometimes cause scuff marks to form as well, especially when it comes to tables and chairs with dark rubber furniture pads on the legs.

Easy Methods For Removing Scuff Marks

Ultimately, the best method for removing scuff marks from your floors will depend on the type of flooring you have. If you have wood floors, you’ll need to be especially careful because harsh chemicals or other rough cleaning methods could strip away the protective varnish on the wood, exposing it to potential damage and discoloration.

For Wooden Floors

To be safe, then, start by attempting to remove scuff marks from your wood floors using a tennis shoe. The key here is to use a light-soled tennis shoe (preferably white or off-white). Of course, you’ll need to make sure that the bottom of the shoe is clean as well. From there, simply insert your hand into the shoe and apply pressure between the sole and the scuff mark on the floor. Sometimes, moving the sole in slight twisting motions can be effective as well. Either way, this method is safe on delicate floors (including wood) and is usually pretty effective.

Another option to try is using a large pencil eraser, such as the ones you can find at your local office supply store. Again, it’s important here that the color of the eraser is something light—otherwise, you could end up leaving more scuff. To begin, take a clean and damp microfiber cloth and rub it over the scuff mark. Then, use the eraser on the scuff mark just as you would pencil markings that you wanted to erase. The scuff mark will come right up; then, all you need to do is vacuum or wipe up the remaining shavings left behind by the eraser.

For Tile, Laminate, and Other Hard Floors

If you need to remove a scuff mark from another type of flooring material, such as ceramic tile, laminate, or vinyl, there are some other methods you can try if the above aren’t effective.

One option is to apply a small amount of nail polish remover onto a clean microfiber cloth and then rub the scuffed area in small, circular motions until the scuff is gone. Just be sure to wipe over the area again with a damp towel to remove any excess acetone and dry thoroughly. Also, keep in mind that nail polish remover can be harsh, so it’s a good idea to test it on a small and inconspicuous area of your flooring before moving forward.

Another potential method for removing scuffs on more durable floors is to use baking soda. Specifically, you’ll want to mix equal parts baking soda and warm water to create a relatively thick paste. Then, using a microfiber cloth, apply some of the paste to the scuffed area of flooring and rub in circular motions until the scuff is gone. From there, simply wipe clean with a damp towel and dry quickly. Baking soda is very effective in removing scuffs from floors because it’s a mild abrasive, yet it is gentle enough to not do damage to these types of floors.

Protecting Your Floors From Scuff Marks

Now that you’ve rid your floors of those pesky scuff marks, what steps can you take to protect your floors in the future? One of the best ways to avoid scuff marks on your floors is to simply not wear shoes in the house. When you have guests over, ask them to remove their shoes at the front door. Set up a small bench and shoe rack so guests and others living in your home have a place to take off and store their shoes when they enter.

You may also want to apply felt furniture pads to chair and table legs throughout your home (at least for the furniture that’s located on your hard floors); these won’t leave any scuff marks and will make it easier to move your furniture around. Felt furniture pads are also extremely inexpensive, can protect your floors from scratches, and are very easy to install. Most can stick on to the legs of your tables and chairs using a strong adhesive.

Get Help Keeping Cleaner Floors (And More!)

After putting some time (and elbow grease) into removing scuff marks from your floors, you may be understandably tired. The last thing you probably want to think about is cleaning the rest of your house or cleaning your office. The good news? You don’t have to! Let our team at Maid Sailors help you achieve a sparkling clean home so you don’t have to lift another finger.

We offer a wide selection of cleaning services to suit your lifestyle, from regularly scheduled cleanings to deep cleanings, move-in/move-out cleanings, and everything in between. Set up an appointment with us today by using our convenient online form or give us a call at (212) 299-5170 to find out more.

How to Clean Light Fixtures

When you think about cleaning your home, which tasks actually come to mind? The usual suspects likely include vacuuming your carpets, mopping/sweeping floors, dusting, and disinfecting solid surfaces (like countertops). What you might not think about when you plan on cleaning your living space, however, is cleaning your light fixtures.

Whether you have pendant lighting, chandeliers, or anything in between—the truth is that you “should” be cleaning your light fixtures on a fairly regular basis. But if you’re like a lot of people, you simply don’t have the time or desire to clean them. Or, perhaps the thought of cleaning your light fixtures has never even crossed your mind.

By having a better understanding of why it’s important to clean light fixtures and how to get this project done in as little time as possible, you can power through your house-cleaning in no time.

Why You Need to Clean Your Light Fixtures

Often times, light fixtures serve as statement pieces of living space. That beautiful chandelier hanging in your front entryway and those vintage-looking pendant lights hanging above your kitchen island can really catch your eye. Unfortunately, if they’re dusty and dingy, these fixtures may be sending a bad message.

Dust build-up is one of the most common problems people have with their lighting fixtures; not only can it detract from the overall look and feel of your space, but it can even hinder the main function of the fixture itself (to provide light!).

How Often Should You Clean Your Light Fixtures?

There is really no universal answer to the question of how often your light fixtures should be cleaned because not all fixtures accumulate dust and debris as readily or quickly as others. Chandeliers, for example, are notorious for collecting dust because of all the nooks, crannies, and crevices that are typically part of the design. A sleek and modern pendant light, on the other hand, maybe less prone to dust accumulation. Recessed light fixtures may rarely need to be cleaned.

The air quality in your home may also play a role in just how often your light fixtures need to be cleaned. If you have a lot of dust particles and other debris flying around, you’re likely to need more frequent cleaning (or, at the very least, dusting). The same applies if you have pets in your home, as they will kick up additional dander, fur, and debris.

Ultimately, it’s a good rule of thumb to dust your light fixtures every time you clean your home. A deep-cleaning of your light fixtures (as described below) may only be necessary once or twice a year.

Cleaning Light Fixtures Throughout Your Home

Before you can clean any light fixture in your home, you’ll need to dust it thoroughly to remove any loose debris and dust. Otherwise, spraying cleaning solution onto the fixture may make this debris even more difficult to remove. Usually, the most effective (and easiest) way to dust a light fixture is using a microfiber duster with an extendable handle. This will make it easier to reach your light fixture without the need for a ladder or step stool, in most cases.

Turn the Light Off

When it’s time to clean your light fixture, always be sure that the light is shut off. Otherwise, you could be putting your personal safety at risk. If you plan on removing light bulbs to clean or if any cleaning solution may come into contact with the fixture’s wiring, you’ll also need to completely shut off power to that fixture at the circuit box.

Remove Covers (if any)

The next steps will really depend on the type of light fixture you’re dealing with. For a light fixture with a glass cover, you’ll need to carefully remove the glass first. Wiping the glass down with glass cleaner may be enough, but if there are bugs or other debris accumulated in the bottom of the glass, you may need to actually wash it out in your sink and set it out to dry.

For any hanging-style light fixtures, your best bet will usually be to actually take the fixture down from your ceiling. Otherwise, you’ll need to prepare for quite an arm workout as you stand on a stool or ladder to clean the fixture as it hangs above you.

Use the Correct Cleaning Solution

Next, it’s time to mix up your own cleaner; you can do this by combining three parts water to one part vinegar directly in a clean spray bottle. This cleaner is safe to spray on most fixtures, including crystals and glass and doesn’t leave any smudges. To use it, simply spray the cleaner onto the exterior of the fixture, using a microfiber cloth to wipe thoroughly. If there are any stubborn areas of grime, you can also use a small amount of dish soap and water to scrub it away with a sponge. From there, simply wipe clean with a damp microfiber cloth and either dry with a clean towel or set out to dry before installing the fixture back in place.

What About the Light Bulbs?

If you’re already going out of your way to clean your light fixtures, you might as well clean the bulbs themselves as well. This should only take a few more seconds of your time and will really make your fixture look like new. Both regular light bulbs and fluorescent tubes can be dusted using a clean cloth. If desired, you can use a damp cloth. Just be sure to completely dry the bulb before putting it back into the fixture.

Keeping Light Fixtures Cleaner For Longer

While there isn’t much you can do to prevent dust from accumulating on your home’s light fixtures over time, there are some ways to keep your fixtures looking their best for longer. For starters, make sure your home’s air filter is cleaned or swapped out with a new one at least once every couple of months; this will help to reduce the amount of dust and debris floating around in the first place.

Furthermore, make dusting your light fixtures a part of your regular cleaning routine (if it isn’t already). Investing in a duster with a telescoping handle can make this a quick and easy task.

Get More Help With Your Day-to-Day Cleaning

Last but not least, don’t forget to reach out to Maid Sailors if you ever need assistance with your regular cleaning tasks. We offer a wide selection of cleaning services, including office cleaning, to make your life easier and free up your valuable time, and satisfaction is always guaranteed. Contact us today to request a quote or to set up your first appointment with our certified maids.

How to Get Rid of Pet Odor

You love your pets, but let’s face it. Sometimes, they stink. Dogs, cats, and just about any other pet you can imagine come with their own unpleasant odors. Over time, you may grow so accustomed to those smells that you don’t even notice them anymore—but when guests come to visit your home, they do.

Fortunately, getting rid of lingering pet odors doesn’t mean getting rid of your beloved pet (as if you’d ever think about doing that!). There are plenty of steps you can take to neutralize all kinds of different pet odors throughout your home so you can enjoy a refreshed living space.

Reasons to Address Pet Odor in Your Home

Even if pet odors don’t bother you, it’s still a good idea to do something about them. This is especially true if you live in a rental where you could end up losing out on some (or all) of your security deposit because of pet odors lingering after you move out. If your landlord or property manager needs to replace the carpeting or other fixtures throughout the home due to pet odors, you may end up footing the bill.

By taking care of pet odors in your rental now, you can save yourself the hassle of trying to scramble to deal with them when you move out. And from there, you’ll have better chances of being able to recoup your security deposit.

Addressing pet odors in your home is also important when it comes to protecting your health and the health of those living under your roof. Some sources of pet odors, such as animal urine and even dander, can lead to illness or aggravate existing conditions (such as asthma and allergies).

And of course, there’s the fact that nobody likes to walk into somebody else’s home and immediately smell their pets. If you do a lot of entertaining, then neutralizing your home of pet odors is like doing your house guests a huge favor.

Common Sources of Pet Odors

There are many potential sources of pet odors that could be affecting your home, and some of them need to be treated differently than others.

Unfortunately, “accidents” are one of the most common causes of lingering odors. This is most common in younger pets, such as puppies and kittens who have not yet been house trained or trained to use a litter box. Cat urine has an especially strong odor that can be difficult to remove from fabrics, such as carpeting and furniture. If a male pet has not been fixed, he may also “spray” to mark territory, which can create additional unpleasant odors in the home.

Even if your pet is completely house trained, smells could still be a problem if your pet hasn’t been properly bathed or groomed recently. This is an especially common problem for pets who spend time outdoors, as their coats become dirty. When they come back inside and spend time rolling around on the carpet or sleeping on your furniture, those smells can set into fabrics and be difficult to get rid of.

How to Neutralize Pet Odors

Determine Source of Odor

Ultimately, the best method to neutralize a pet odor will depend on the source of the odor itself. The first step of the process, then, is to determine what’s causing the odor in the first place.

If unwanted spraying, soiling, or urinating is causing the odors in your home, this will be pretty obvious. And while there are some products out there that are designed to neutralize pet urine smells and similar odors, it’s generally best to start with natural solutions before moving onto chemical cleaners.

Use Baking Soda

One of the best natural ingredients you can use on pet odors in your home (including pet urine and spray) is something you probably already have in your pantry: baking soda. This is known for its ability to absorb odors, which is why so many people often place an open box of baking soda to prevent fridge odors.

To use the baking soda method of removing pet odors, try sprinkling a small amount of baking soda on the affected area. Allow it to sit and work its magic for at least a half-hour before vacuuming it up. If the smell is especially stubborn, there is no harm in leaving baking soda sitting overnight, as long as you can keep pets and any children away from it.

No Baking Soda? Try Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another useful remedy for lingering pet odors and is great for addressing general pet odors on furniture and carpets. Simply combine one part apple cider vinegar with three parts water in a clean spray bottle and spray the mixture on your couches, carpeting, pet beds, and other affected areas. You can then blot up any residual liquid with a clean towel and allow the rest to air-dry.

Preventing Future Pet Odors

These are just a couple of natural odor-neutralizers to try in your home before you resort to any chemical cleaners or sprays. Once you’ve successfully removed lingering pet odors from your home, there are some additional steps you may want to take to prevent them from coming back.

If you have a dog, when was the last time you washed his or her dog bed? This is a commonly overlooked chore that is actually quite easy to do and can really help to cut down on lingering dog smells in your home.

Taking the time to have your pet professionally bathed and groomed can also help to address pet odors in your home. Pets with longer coats will need more frequent grooming, but you should aim to bring your pet to the groomer at least a few times a year. Indoor cats may be an exception here, as they tend to do a pretty thorough job keeping themselves clean and may be stressed out by a visit to the groomer.

If urination and spraying are an ongoing problem with your pet, it may be time to speak to a veterinarian. Sometimes, these issues can be traced back to underlying health conditions, such as urinary tract infections or kidney issues.

Treat Yourself to a Maid Service

If you have pets, you already have a lot on your plate when it comes to keeping your house or office clean and odor-free. Hiring a professional maid service to help you out with your day-to-day cleaning tasks can take some of the burden off your shoulders and save you valuable time. Contact Maid Sailors today to explore our many service offerings and find out more about how we can make your life easier!

How to Clean a Freezer

Can you remember the last time you cleaned your freezer? If you’re like a lot of people, the thought probably doesn’t cross your mind often. Maybe you haven’t even cleaned your freezer since you first moved into your place. After all, who wants to deal with the hassle of taking all the food out of your freezer, defrosting it, and deep-cleaning it?

What you might not realize is that you probably don’t even have to completely defrost your freezer in order to clean it. In fact, we have plenty of tips and hacks to share with you that can make cleaning your freezer a lot quicker and easier than you ever thought possible. In fact, with our guidance, you could probably clean your refrigerator and freezer in the span of an hour or two.

Don’t just take our word for it, though; find out everything you need to know about cleaning your freezer the quick and easy way.

Reasons to Clean Your Freezer

If it’s been a minute since the last time you cleaned your freezer, there are a few reasons to make this a priority. For starters, cleaning your freezer is a great way to simply get rid of some older and questionable food that’s been in there a bit longer than you intended. Freezer-burned foods are never enjoyable, so why waste precious freezer space on foods you’re never going to eat?

When your freezer is overstocked with old foods, this can also cause additional ice build-up that can take months or even years off the life of your freezer. Ice build-up along the insides of your freezer is a sign that it is too full and/or that you’re leaving the door open too long while you use it. Taking the time to clean your freezer can help remove that build-up, thus prolonging the life of your freezer and saving you money on replacement or repairs in the long run.

How Often Should You Clean Your Freezer?

In a perfect world, you’d be taking the time to clean your freezer at least twice a year. But if you’re like most people, you have better ways to prioritize your time. If you can get around to cleaning your freezer once a year, you should give yourself a nice pat on the back.

How often you need to clean your freezer will also depend on how much you use it and whether it’s a deep freezer or a standard freezer that’s attached to your fridge. A deep freezer isn’t used as often and thus doesn’t typically need to be cleaned as frequently as, say, the freezer in your kitchen.

Tips and Tricks for Easy Freezer Cleaning

Remove Everything

The first thing you should do before cleaning your freezer is to remove everything inside it and place it in a large cooler. More than likely, you won’t need to ice down the cooler unless you’ll be spending more than an hour or so cleaning your freezer out. Keeping your food items in a cooler as you work should keep them cold enough to avoid spoilage.

Use a Vacuum

Once everything is removed from your freezer, use a vacuum with a clean hose attachment to suck out any large food debris and other particles. This will take care of a lot of the pesky crumbs that can be difficult to remove otherwise. From there, wiping down the remainder of the freezer with a damp cloth is usually enough to get rid of food spills and stains.

Wipe the Surfaces

If you need a little more deep-cleaning power, you can fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Spraying this inside your freezer will help to get rid of set-in stains and will also neutralize any lingering odors. Just be sure to rinse and wipe down with regular water when you’re done so you don’t leave any liquid behind that will freeze and form ice.

Wash Bins and Sleeves Separately

If your freezer has any removable bins or shelves, this is a good opportunity to take those out and wash them as well. Remove them carefully and according to the instructions in your freezer’s manual (find your manual online based on the freezer’s model number if you don’t have a physical copy). From there, you can typically wash these out in your sink with dish soap and warm water before rinsing and drying completely.

Defrost (If Necessary)

If you have some ice build-up inside your freezer, you might think you have no choice but to defrost. What a pain! The good news is that you generally don’t need to go through the hassle of defrosting to remove ice build-up. Instead, try taking a warm washcloth to the ice; this should melt it away relatively quickly.

Once you’re happy with the cleanliness of your freezer, all that’s left to do is put the shelves and all the food back in that you’ve chosen to keep.

Keeping Your Freezer Cleaner For Longer

Now that you know how to clean your freezer quickly, effectively, and without defrosting it, how can you go about keeping it cleaner? Organization is key here. Freezers often end up dirty and overcrowded with old food because of poor storage. Consider investing in small storage bins that will help to separate meats from things like fruits and vegetables. You should also take some time to simply wipe down your freezer with a damp cloth every couple of weeks to avoid that unsightly build-up of crumbs and other debris.

If you notice a spill in your freezer, try to clean it as soon as possible. Otherwise, most liquids will freeze and become much more difficult to remove later on.

Finally, just as you may keep a box of baking soda in your fridge to absorb foul odors, you can do the same thing in your freezer to keep it smelling as fresh as possible.

Speaking of Cleaning…

Cleaning your freezer doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or difficult task—but when you have other chores and cleaning responsibilities to worry about around the house, even small cleaning jobs can be daunting.

If you’d prefer to leave some of your office cleaning or household cleaning tasks to somebody else, consider hiring a professional service for regular cleaning at your home. With the competitive pricing offered at Maid Sailors, professional cleaning is more affordable than you might think—and your satisfaction is always guaranteed. And of course, all of our maids are certified, bonded, and insured.

Reclaim more of your valuable time by hiring Maid Sailors for all your household cleaning needs. Contact our friendly and knowledgeable team today to book your first appointment.

How to Clean a Fabric Couch

Fabric sofas are a popular choice for a number of reasons; not only are they generally more affordable than their leather (or other luxury-upholstered) counterparts, but they’re also comfortable and quite durable. Fabric sofas can be adorned with any number of materials, but some of the most commonly used include cotton, polyester, microfiber, and linen.

Of course, any fabric is susceptible to staining over time because fabrics are naturally porous—meaning they’ll absorb liquids readily. This means you need to exercise some special precautions when it comes to keeping your fabric sofa clean and stain-free. Still, cleaning your fabric sofa is important not only for getting rid of unsightly stains, but for keeping the fabric clear of dirt and bacteria.

The Challenges of Cleaning a Fabric Sofa

Removing stains from fabric is easy enough, right? Well…this may be the case when you have the luxury of throwing soiled fabric in the washing machine with a little detergent and stain-remover. In reality, most fabric sofas do not come with removable covers. This means you’ll need to clean them using another method and, typically, remove stains by spot-treating.

At the same time, different types of sofa fabric may be sensitive to certain cleaning chemicals, so you’ll need to be careful to avoid permanently damaging your couch as you clean.

Before You Get Started…

The first thing you should do before you begin cleaning a fabric sofa is to find out exactly what kind of material it’s made out of and check with the couch manufacturer to find out what their care/cleaning instructions are. You can typically find out the material and care instructions for your sofa by lifting or removing cushions until you find a large tag. This should contain information on the materials used on the couch (and in which percentages, if more than one material is used) as well as how to properly clean the couch itself.

If you can’t locate a tag on your couch, try researching the manufacturer online. If you’re able to locate your sofa online, you can likely find its care instructions there as well. When in doubt, always defer to the care and cleaning instructions provided by your manufacturer. This is especially important if your couch is still under warranty, as using a non-approved cleaning method could void your warranty.

Generally, there are a few different markings to look for on your couch tag that will help you determine what type of cleaning method is best:

  • “X”-vacuum only
  • “S”-solvent-based cleaners only
  • “W” or “WS”-water or solvent-based cleaner okay

Methods For Cleaning a Fabric Couch

If your couch tag is marked with an “X” or an “S,” you’ll want to stay away from any cleaning methods that use water, as this could damage your couch material. If you’re fortunate enough to have a “W” or “WS” tag on your sofa, you can create your own cleaning mixture and get to work.

Create Your Own Stain Fighter

For this method, you’ll be creating a mixture that’s great not only for removing stains on many fabrics but for giving your couch an all-over clean. To create this mixture, combine 3/4 cup of warm water with a quarter cup of white vinegar and a spoonful of your favorite gentle dishwashing soap.

Before you apply any of the mixture to your couch, take a minute to remove any excess debris by vacuuming it with a hose attachment or similar. From there, apply some of the cleaning mixture you just made to a clean microfiber cloth and blot stained areas of your couch with the cloth. This will help to lift up the stains without further rubbing them into the fabric.

Next, take another clean microfiber cloth and dampen it with some pure distilled water. You’ll then use this to “rinse” away the cleaning mixture that you applied to the stained or soiled areas of your couch. Once you’re happy with the level of stain removal (you may need to repeat these steps a few times for best results), blot the area dry as much as possible with yet another clean cloth. To speed up the drying process, you can also use a fan or a hairdryer. Otherwise, allowing the freshly cleaned areas of your couch to air-dry is fine.

Steam-Clean Your Couch

If your couch is able to be steam-cleaned, this can be a great way to really sanitize it and give it a deep clean. You can still use the above method to spot-treat any major problem areas, but following up with a steam-cleaning can be a smart choice as well.

Typically, you can rent steam cleaners from your local grocery store or home improvement store for a nominal fee. Always follow the instructions that come with your steam cleaner, but keep in mind that these do kick up a lot of steam while in use. With this in mind, it’s best to choose a day when you’ll be able to steam-clean your couch with your windows open.

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve spot-treated and steam-cleaned your couch but are still not thrilled with the results, it may be time to call a professional furniture-cleaning company. These businesses generally offer services in-tandem with carpet cleaning and steam cleaning. You may also need to call a professional if your couch is made of a fabric that you cannot easily clean yourself.

Keeping Your Fabric Couch Clean

Unless you want to cover your sofa with plastic, it’s going to be prone to staining and soiling over time. The best ways to keep your fabric couch cleaner are to blot up spills as soon as they happen or consider making your couch a “no-liquid” zone to prevent potential staining in the first place.

Some furniture manufacturers also offer stain-resistant coatings that can help keep the fabric fresh in between cleanings. Consider having one of these applications done to see what a difference it can make.

When You Need Additional Cleaning Help…

Speaking of cleaning, are you feeling bogged down by all the tedious cleaning chores that your home demands? If you’re losing out on valuable time with loved ones or frequently need to cut back on your personal time to keep a clean house, then maybe it’s time to hire a maid.

Maid Sailors offers comprehensive cleaning services to hard-working people. We pride ourselves in our 100% satisfaction guarantee and competitive pricing—and our certified cleaners do a thorough job every time. Schedule your cleaning appointment by contacting us today or booking online in a matter of seconds!