w-indoor air1x250You strive to provide the best house cleaning you can to make your home a healthy place. It certainly pays off, but the air possesses many contaminants and allergens that contribute to every household member's health issues. You can't completely eliminate the air pollution, but you can certainly reduce it for a healthier home.

 

When looking at a section in your home when the sun rays hit, what do you tend to see? Sure, household dust is normal, but what else in in there? Sure, that dust is invisible most of the time but you have to remember that you breathe that every day in your home. During seasons with closed windows, this air can have nowhere to go. This leads to more sicknesses, less energy, and flared up allergies.

 

Air purification systems are a good way to reduce those pesky allergens and pollutants within your house's air. Each one has its own features, but having one in general at least helps. A more expensive model may provide better results though. Some models have filter monitoring, oscillation, or adjustable fan speeds. For the most part, they are available in table models and floor models.

 

Aside from that, you can use window fans in your windows. When installing window fans, you will be blowing the contaminants outside to reduce the level within your home. However, be sure to have other windows open to bring in fresher air. The drawback of this option will be to have to clean your screens, but it is certainly worth it. In addition, you will see the dust and pollutants you have eliminated from your home. Pretty amazing stuff!

 

A vacuum cleaner can also have an impact on the quality of air in your home. Sure, it picks up dirt well, but what happens to the air? It often gets pushed around and settles back down. HEPA filtration vacuums may help with that somewhat, but most do not filter the air properly as they would have you think. Just because it says HEPA does not mean it will provide clean air. Irritants and contaminants often escape from the vacuum before even hitting the HEPA filter! They find gaps, cracks, or improperly sealed containers to escape back into your home's air.

 

Every home will always have some amount of air pollutants within it. However, there are some strategies you can employ to help control that level.

Help Save Energy with Illumination

Written by Tuesday, 15 October 2013 00:00

w-savings from switching to energy savings bulbsFinding the right tone of light in any room of your home can be an adventure. Each and every room and sometimes area, depending on what it is used for or what occurs in that area, requires different lighting. In other cases, minimal light is just fine to any task in that area or room. This helps save the homeowner money in electrical use. It all just depends on what you need and what you want for your home.

 

Light is important at nighttime so you can carry on with life and get your house cleaning done and perhaps get your latest hobby project completed. No matter what kind of light bulb you had to have in your lighting fixture, there was an easy selection to match. 60-watt bulbs have been used the most over the years and lighting companies have mass produced them for years. Unfortunately, wattage and energy usage rises rapidly.
 
Fluorescent lamps and L.E.D. (light emitting diode) bulbs have evolved and continue to evolve. This is an excellent opportunity to cut those energy costs down.
 

Replacing incandescent lamps is a good choice, considering that newer technology can save you over 60% of the cost to run them. Replace each one with a 15 watt fluorescent and enjoy the savings every single month. Fluorescent bulbs get measured in lumens, which is a true representation of light output and distance. Nevertheless, many manufacturers label packages with the watts used, just to make it easier to compare to an incandescent. However, watts are only a measure of power consumption and don’t truly represent the light output level. On another note, fluorescent lights come in different color tones, such as bright white and daylight.

 

Replacing incandescent lighting with L.E.D. technology can reduce the costs of energy on your electric bill too. Since they use less energy than fluorescent lights, they are growing in popularity to a point where more options are becoming available. Night lights, lamp bulbs, flood lights, chandelier bulbs, etc. are growing in availability.

 

 

Take It Outside

Written by Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:00

Some household cleaning chores are just easier when completed outside. Armed with little more than a garden hose, you can clean a few items around your house this summer with ease. The cleaning experts at The Maids (www.maidstampabay.com), a residential cleaning service, have identified the perfect outdoor summer projects:

Kitchen trash cans: Odds are good that you seldom clean your hardest working kitchen “appliance.” The time is ripe for a good scour. Put a few drops of dishwashing detergent in the can, add water and scrub well with a long-handled brush. Let air dry.

Blinds: Don’t get tangled trying to clean hanging blinds. Remove vinyl mini blinds from the window and lay them on a swept driveway. Use a gentle nozzle setting and hose off dust and grime. Once returned to the window, swipe slats with a dryer sheet to prevent dust from settling again.

Area rugs: These are often too bulky to toss into the washing machine. Instead, hang them over a fence or railing and spray until water runs clear. Allow to drip dry.

Indoor Plants: Now is the perfect time to hose down indoor plants. Dust settles over the winter months, giving your plants a dull appearance. Set the nozzle to mist and reinvigorate the natural beauty of your indoor flora with a gentle shower.

Patio Furniture: While you’re outside, give your outdoor furniture a solid scrub. Don’t get caught on the perfect summer evening with dirty furniture. Grab a soft-bristled brush and scrub away the winter grime from chairs and tables.

Now sit back, relax and enjoy the fleeting summer breezes.

Back to Cleaning Basics

Written by Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:00

You can undoubtedly find a product for virtually every cleaning need. Sometimes, however, the simplest methods are still best. Dig through your pantry and embrace your inner naturalist with the following solutions from the cleaning experts at The Maids Home Services (www.maidstampabay.com), a residential cleaning service.

Reach for the vinegar instead of the bleach.

·         A simple yet effective surface cleaner can be concocted by pouring equal parts white vinegar and water into a spray bottle. Not to worry, once dry, the only thing you’ll smell is clean.

·         Remove odors from your home by simmering vinegar on the stove for 30 minutes.

·         Add ½ a cup of vinegar to your laundry’s rinse cycle to help break down laundry detergent – great for family members with skin sensitivities. It also naturally softens your clothes. 

Stock up on lemons during your next outing to the grocery store.

·         Run a cut lemon half over chrome faucets, then buff it for instant shine.

·         Sprinkle baking soda on the surface of the other half to scrub away stains.

·         Grind a lemon half through the garbage disposal to freshen.

Baking soda is a wonder cleaner.

·         Like vinegar, baking soda is non-toxic, multi-purpose and inexpensive. Use baking soda as a safe, natural scrubber rather than bleach-based abrasive cleansers.

·         Absorb odors from the refrigerator and freezer by placing a box inside.

·         Avoid clogged drains by pouring ¼ cup of baking soda down the drain and following with one full cup of white vinegar. Do this weekly for the best results.

Spring Cleaning Tips

Written by Monday, 30 January 2012 00:00

It’s Time to Make a Switch!
Spring cleaning tips offered by The Maids

Spring is bursting all around and that means it is time for spring cleaning! Whether you love it or hate it, spring is the perfect time to get last year’s dirt out of your home. If you are about to dig into that sometimes dreaded chore, start by making a switch.  The cleaning experts at The Maids(www.maidstampabay.com), a leading residential cleaning service, have provided the following list of items that could use a switch:

Switch…

The Mattress. Turn it over, and then switch the top of the mattress to the bottom of the bed. This reduces concave areas and should be repeated every six months. Do not forget to vacuum mattresses using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

Your Ceiling Fan. Turn the switch on your ceiling fan so the blades are moving counter clockwise and are pushing the air downward. Dust the top and sides of the fan blades with a microfiber cloth.

Your Storm Windows. Take out your storm windows and replace with the screens. To wash windows inside and out, use a drop of liquid dish soap per two gallons of water and a good squeegee. You will get the best results if you wash windows on a cloudy, not sunny day, because sunlight dries the glass quickly, causing it to streak.

The Baking Soda. It’s time to take out the old baking soda from your refrigerator and replace it with a new box. To clean the inside of the fridge, use cleaning solution of 1/4 cup baking soda to 1 quart of warm water. Don’t forget to wipe clean the rubber gasket around the edge of the door.

Your Wardrobe. Exchange winter clothes for summer ones. Call your local charity and donate any clean, unwanted clothing.

Your Child’s Toys.  If your child’s toy box is overflowing, take out several toys that won’t be noticed and store them in the attic or another out-of-the-way spot. In the fall or after a birthday, take out the box and switch those toys with others in the toy box.

Your Spices. Replace spices that have not been used in over a year. Spices tend to lose their potency over time. Take a moment to wipe clean the interior of the cabinets with warm water and a mild detergent. Consider vacuuming cupboards and drawers before cleaning if you find a lot of crumbs or food particles.

Your Air Filter. Change your furnace filter so it is ready for next winter.

Spring is a good time to not only sweep, brush and wipe out your cleaning chores, but it’s also a good time to make a switch. For more information about The Maids, visit their web site at: www.maidstampabay.com.

Top 10 Weekend Warrior Cleaning Tips

Written by Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00

Does the end of the workweek signify that the housecleaning begins? If you are vacuuming, scrubbing and dusting  away your free time, use these tips from the cleaning experts at THE MAIDS Home Services  (www.maids.com), a residential cleaning service, to get your chores done and your weekend started.

Get it together. Gather your equipment and cleaning products before you begin. Put everything in a bucket, laundry basket or kid’s wagon, and take it with you as you clean. You won’t waste time running across the room to retrieve cleaning products or equipment.

Turn on tunes. Either through an MP3 player or a central radio, turn on and up your music. Up-tempo songs will brighten your mood and get you moving quicker.

Be methodical. Start cleaning at the entryway of each room and move around the perimeter clockwise. Section the room and clean left to right, top to bottom, leaving the middle until last. Using a systematic approach to cleaning guarantees all areas are cleaned without having to retrace steps.

Specialize. Use a different cleaning cloth for each cleaning product. Wear an apron with big pockets to organize your cloths; place the wood-polishing cloth in one pocket, the glass-cleaning one in another, etc.

Extend yourself. Use a long extension cord so you don’t have to continually unplug and re-plug the vacuum cleaner. Use the vacuum’s brush attachment with an extension handle to reach cobwebs in high corners.

Wipe once and move on. Don’t waste time scrubbing. Use straight, overlapping strokes combined with the right cleaning tool.

Pre-treat. If there is a tough spot, pre-treat it and come back after the product has had time to do its job, then wipe with a non-scratch scouring pad. This will save on elbow grease and free you to clean something else.

Be conservative.  Use only the amount of cleaning product required to do the job. Otherwise, you will just waste time wiping up the excess.

Vacuum last. Remember the top to bottom rule. Vacuuming last catches any fallen dust at the end of the clean.

Don’t forget the finishing touches. Straighten magazines into neat piles, fluff pillows and buff chrome. These small touches will give a room a finished look, no matter how fast you cleaned it.

Cleaning Green

Written by Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00

This St. Patrick’s Day, don’t just wear green – make your life green! When it comes to cleaning, environmentally friendly, or ‘green’ cleaning is all the buzz. But it’s about more than simply protecting the health of the environment. It’s also about avoiding exposure to dangerous chemicals and cleaning practices that could affect your personal health. Cleaning experts at The Maids(www.maidstampabay.com), a residential cleaning service, offer the following advice on practicing the greener side of cleaning.

Resist the urge to grab a roll of paper towel when cleaning. Opt instead for microfiber cloths that trap dust and allergens, eliminating them from the air you breathe. Look for cloths that are appropriate to your cleaning task, be it dusting or buffing.

Let your home get a breath of fresh air as often as possible. Pollutants indoors are often higher than outside. Open the windows and let them out!

Choose natural air fresheners, like daffodils or simmering cinnamon sticks. Synthetic air fresheners often emit VOCs, volatile organic compounds, that can exacerbate health issues producing skin, eye and respiratory reactions.

Look for eco-friendly ingredients in cleaning products. Seek those with plant-oil disinfectants such as rosemary, sage or eucalyptus.

Invest in a vacuum cleaner that utilizes a HEPA filtration system. These advanced filters can capture the tiny bacteria and particulates that cause allergy sufferers distress.

Steer clear of chlorine bleach. It can burn skin and eyes and once released into the environment, can wreak havoc. Hot soapy water is an effective and safer alternative.

Making simple changes in cleaning products and habits can offer benefits for both the environment ­­and your health.

Solutions for Keeping Cleaning Resolutions

Written by Wednesday, 11 January 2012 00:00

It only takes a few weeks of consistently doing something before it becomes a habit, ingrained in our daily routine. Don’t think you have the time or energy for one more resolution? The following simple tips from the cleaning experts at The Maids(www.maidstampabay.com), a residential cleaning service, are your solution to keeping your cleaning resolutions all year long.

Sink always full and cluttered? Make a habit of emptying the dishwasher before you go to bed. The morning’s dishes can then be put directly into the dishwasher instead of cluttering the sink.

Stop dirt in its tracks. Or at least at the entry rug. Shake rugs outside once a week to reduce the amount of dirt traipsed throughout the house.

Clean the refrigerator handle. It only takes a matter of seconds to wipe the handle with a disinfectant wipe to remove the plethora of bacteria residing on it.

Dry mop hard surface floors with an electrostatic mop. This wonderful tool literally grabs the dirt and dust. If dust is removed from the floor, it won’t be kicked into the air, settling elsewhere.

Microfiber cloths are simple yet highly effective cleaning tools. They attract dust and make chrome sparkle. And they make ceramic cook tops shine! Be sure to use the correct cloth for the job and shop for quality.

Many of us will sweep our New Year’s resolutions under the rug before Valentine’s Day saunters by. Turn these simple steps into cleaning habits that will keep your home looking its best all year long!

Please call our office to find out how you can save $$ on Carpet & Tile and Grout Cleaning with Your House Cleaning Appointment!