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The Best Essential Oils for Cleaning Your Home – Part I

November 30, 2021 by emilysmaids

The Best Essential Oils For Cleaning Your Home

 


Who doesn’t love essential oils? These tiny containers can enhance your experience in any room of your home and allow you to relax and enjoy a fresh, clean and calming scent.

But did you know that they’re also useful for cleaning? Well, they are! If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Most essential oils come from organic sources such as plants and fruits which, as we know, offer cleaning and sanitizing properties.

The best part is that you can use them on their own, or you can add more ingredients to create the perfect cleaning mix for different uses around your household. And on top of that, you get a home that smells great all the time.

Without further ado, let’s read some tips on how to use essential oils for cleaning!


What Are Essential Oils?


Essential oils are oils that come from either organic sources or synthetic sources. You can use synthetic oils mostly as fragrance, but organic oils preserve natural properties, or at least most of them.

As you know, fruits and plants can offer hundreds of properties, such as the ability to clean, disinfect, degrease, sanitize and stop bacterial and mold growth. Besides, a nice fragrance can be soothing, invigorating and capable of improving your mood and wellbeing.

If you live in a humid state such as Dallas, you might need to clean constantly to avoid bacteria and mold, especially around humid places. Even though commercial cleaners are effective, sometimes they come with downsides: they can be dangerous to you or your kids, they can also be too aggressive on your materials and surfaces, and most of them are not eco-friendly.

When Not to Use Essential Oil for Cleaning


Lemon Essential Oil


Lemon is by far one of the best essential oils, especially for cleaning. They are extracted from the peel of fresh lemons. They do not contain vitamin C but they do offer many other health and cleaning benefits to your body and household.

On its own, lemon can bring a variety of benefits and that’s why it’s used commonly as an ingredient for manufactured cleaning products. This means that you can use lemon essential oil straight or diluted in water and it’s already an effective cleaner.

For example, you can add 15 drops of lemon essential oil to two cups of water. You’ll have right away an all-purpose surface cleaner! You can use half a cup of vinegar as a plus to maximize its effectiveness. Feel free to change these proportions if you want a stronger or lighter cleaner.


Related: How to Clean Using Vinegar

Lemon oil can become a powerful stain remover as well; you just need to rub some lemon oil onto the

e stain and then wash as usual. Lemon oil is a great degreaser, and therefore able to break down stains with ease. Plus, it is a natural and safe alternative to industrial stain removers.

Now, the best part is that it can be combined with many other products. For example, you can use it along with baking soda to deodorize your fridge.

Start by grabbing two tablespoons of baking soda and about 10 drops of lemon essential oil. Mix them in a saucer plate and place them in your fridge. This mix will absorb odors, as well as add a nice fresh citrus fragrance. They should be replaced every 4 to 5 days.

Lemon essential oil is also a wood cleaner. It needs to be mixed with olive oil, though. You can try mixing a few drops of lemon oil to two tablespoons of olive oil. Apply with a clean microfiber cloth to wood surfaces.


Read more: 10 Creative Ways to Use Lemon For Cleaning

Lemon Essential Oil


Lavender Oil


Lavender oil comes from lavender flowers. It has been used since ancient Egypt: not only because of its sweet, floral fragrance but also for its therapeutic properties.

Its essential oil is well-known for being used during laundry. In fact, many laundry detergents and fabric softeners include lavender oil or fragrance. If you want to try it, just add 5 drops to your laundry detergent measuring cup, right before adding it to your washing machine.

Not only it will leave an incredible perfume, but it will also prevent mold and mildew from building up, which is common in washing machines, especially the front-load ones.

Lavender Essential Oil for Cleaning


Tea Tree Oil


Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is an essential oil that comes from the Australian tea tree. It is obtained by crushing its leaves, and it offers antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

You can create an all-purpose cleaner with tea tree oil as well. A very simple variant consists of mixing one cup of hot water, ¼ cup of vinegar and 8 drops of tea tree oil. This is similar to the lemon essential oil mix, and it works just as nicely with tea tree oil.

It can be helpful to deodorize your garbage bin as well. You can start by cleaning your garbage bin with a one-part vinegar, one-part water mix, and scrubbing with an old sponge. You might need to use a hose for stuck-up grime. If it’s stainless steel, be careful not to let it soak for too long.

Now, here’s when the tea tree oil comes into play. Right before you place a new, clean bag, you can add 4 to 5 drops of tea tree oil. its antimicrobial properties will keep bacteria and fungus at bay, which is important around garbage bins.

Melaleuca Oil can be used for cleaning your bathroom, too. Just combine 15 drops of this oil into two cups of hot water, half a cup vinegar, two tablespoons baking soda and one teaspoon of castile soap. This way you’ll getting a mix that is a stain remover, bacteria and mold remover, deodorizer, and degreaser, and with a nice fragrance on top of that!

You can remove mold as well using tea tree oil. Mix two cups of vinegar and two teaspoons of tea tree oil, and apply to moldy areas, letting sit for 15 minutes and scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Then, remove with a microfiber cloth.

Tea Tree Essential Oil


Peppermint Oil


Besides its incredible fragrance, peppermint has antibacterial properties. Research has shown that it can be used for medical reasons and it is also popular as a cleaning agent.

For example, you can use it as a mirror cleaner. Start by mixing 3 cups of distilled water, a quarter of a cup of white vinegar, a quarter of a cup of vodka, and 20 drops of peppermint oil. Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle, shake and apply over your mirrors. Let sit for 5 minutes and then wipe with a microfiber cloth or a squeegee.

Peppermint can be used for cleaning your hands as well! We all know that washing your hands is super important. However, you also need to exfoliate them properly to remove dead skin cells, as well as bacteria and grease residues.

Here’s the perfect mix for a DIY hand scrub: four tablespoons of raw sugar, four tablespoons of kosher salt, two tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of honey, one tablespoon of coconut oil and 5 drops of peppermint oil.

Just mix all ingredients into a glass jar, such as a small mason jar. Keep that on top of your bathroom sink with a small wooden spoon and apply and scrub your hands whenever you need to, rinsing with plenty of cold water afterward.

As you can see, these materials will help you clean, moisturize and exfoliate your hands.

Peppermint Essential Oil


Combine Essential Oils to Maximize Cleaning Effectiveness


If you want to make your own dish soap, you can use the power of citrus essential oil. Mix half a cup of castile soap and 10 drops of lemon oil, lime oil and wild orange oil. Citrus fruits offer a remarkable degreasing power which is exactly what you need for doing the dishes.

An all-purpose cleaner can be created following the vinegar/water mix. Add half a cup of white distilled vinegar to two cups of warm water. Instead of adding 15 drops of a single oil, you can mix and match different oils. For example, you can create a citrus powerhouse with 5 drops of lemon oil, 5 drops of lime and 5 drops of wild orange.

Or you can use peppermint oil with tea tree oil instead to maximize its antibacterial effectiveness!

Bonus tip: always use glass bottles and store them in a dark, dry place! Sunlight can make them expire faster, and glass is strong enough to contain them because plastic can break down due to the oils’ concentration.

Combining Essential Oils for Cleaning


When Not to Use Essential Oil for Cleaning


There are some circumstances where essential oils should not be used, or at the very least, handled with care.

For example, it’s not safe to ingest essential oils. Although organic essential oils come from natural sources such as fruits and plants, they are highly concentrated, and can cause several injuries. Plus, they’re not approved by the FDA.

If you plan to use lemon essential oil as a cleaning agent, remember that pets are very sensitive. You should not use them if you have dogs or cats. The same goes for tea tree oil. Before applying any type of essential oil, check first with your vet to confirm that everything you do is safe for your pet.

Some essential oils are not safe because they come from acidic sources, the best example is lemon oil. In this case, it’s not a good idea to use this type of oil for some surfaces such as natural stone. Remember to do some research on the type of oil and the material you’re using it against.

Remember to always test your cleaning products or agents in a small, hidden place. You can never be too sure about the reaction to another material or surface.

When Not to Use Essential Oils

 


Conclusion


Cleaning oils are an organic, green alternative to commercial cleaners. The best part is that you can combine them with many other cleaning agents to keep your home clean, tidy and with a pleasant fragrance throughout the day.

Keep reading our blog and wait until next week for part II! There are so many more cleaning essential oils to choose from, so don’t miss it out!

And remember, you can always hire a cleaning service to help you out with household chores and enjoy your free time without a care.

10 Creative Ways To Use Lemon For Cleaning

November 11, 2021 by emilysmaids

10 Creative Ways To use Lemon for Cleaning


Lemon as a cleaning agent is so versatile and efficient that you’ll start using it as soon as you read everything it can do.

Besides being a great ingredient for all kinds of recipes, from main dishes to desserts and drinks, lemon is also frequently used as a cleaning component, both in DIY and manufactured cleaning products.

Keep reading to find out more about lemon and how to use it for cleaning your house!


The Natural Cleaning Properties of Lemon


Lemon is a citrus fruit with one of the highest contents of citric acid, which acts as an antibacterial, sanitizer, preservative and deodorizer, according to research.

It is used frequently with hundreds of manufactured cleaning products, such as degreasers, laundry detergent or dish soap.  But it is also a common ingredient for natural, homemade cleaners.

Other studies have shown that it is comparable to vinegar because they are both acids that are capable of cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.

Thanks to its versatility, it can be combined with so many other ingredients from your kitchen, your pantry or your laundry cabinet. Just plain water is more than enough for a basic cleaner, but baking soda, vinegar and castor oil are also popular options.


Using Lemon as an All-Purpose Surface Cleaner


If you have laminate countertops, you can create a natural mix that works as a surface. This solution is ideal for your kitchen, but it can also work for your bathroom, as long as it’s not granite or marble.

The best part is that you’ll only need a few ingredients that are most likely sitting in your pantry already.

Start by grabbing your ingredients: white vinegar, baking soda, hot water and one lemon. Super easy and cheap!

Mix ¼ cup white vinegar, 4 cups hot water, the juice of a lemon and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Mix your ingredients and place them in a spray bottle.

Remember, because this is an acid cleaner it won’t work on natural stone or natural hardwood. Always test it first in a small, hidden place.

Lemon DIY Surface Cleaner Spray


Lemon as Odor Neutralizer for the Fridge


Lemon is efficient not only at removing odor, but also leaves a pleasant citrus fragrance afterward.

Therefore, it’s not surprising to find that it also works to remove odors from the fridge, by applying an easy technique. Just cut your lemon in slices and place them on a saucer plate and then place that plate inside your fridge.

This will work for about 5 days until you need to replace them. For better results, add two teaspoons of baking soda to the saucer plate.

If you don’t have lemon at hand, you can also use about 5 to 10 drops of lemon or orange essential oil.


Lemon as a Stain Remover and Polish


Citric acid helps to remove stains and polish stainless steel and copper cookware.

For polishing copper pots and pans, mix the juice of a lemon and one teaspoon salt. Stir until the salt dissolves and then use a microfiber cloth or a soft sponge to spread all across your cooking pan or pot. Let sit for a minute and then rinse with plenty of water.

You can dry everything with a different, clean cloth afterward. The same technique can be applied to copper fixtures, as well as stainless steel cookware.

Copper Pots Cleaned with Lemon


Lemon As a Laundry Cleaning Agent


Besides the kitchen or your bathroom, lemon is also effective in the laundry room.

Citric acid can be used to remove stains from different materials and fabrics. You can add half a cup of lemon juice to your wash cycle to ensure your clothes will be fresh and bright after taking them out.

It can be useful as well for removing particular stains, such as the ones caused by deodorant.

Just pour some lemon juice into the stain and place your garment in the sun for 15 minutes. Next, add some table salt and then scrub using a toothbrush. Wash as usual afterward.

Lemon Basket inside a pantry - Emily's Maids


Lemon for Cleaning Your Microwave


You can use it to deodorize your microwave by using lemon slices.

Grab a bowl of water, cut a lemon in slices and place them inside the bowl. After microwaving for 2 minutes, let sit for another 2 minutes without opening the microwave and then wipe as usual. You want to wait a couple of minutes so steam can soften grime and grease on the insides.

The lemon juice will soften the grease and food buildup inside your microwave which can then be easily removed with a microfiber cloth. It will also absorb odors, which is perfect to remove stubborn smells such as popcorn.


Lemon as Essential Oil


Lemon not only works on its own but also as an essential oil.

Besides using them as an all-purpose cleaner, you can clean specific materials and surfaces with lemon essential oil.      For example, you can add a few drops to a microfiber cloth and use that to polish stainless steel.

You can also soak your kitchen sponges in a bowl with warm water and essential oil, to deodorize and sanitize them. Of course, this is not a long-term solution, and you need to make sure to replace them regularly because bacteria builds up with time.

You can use it as an air freshener as well, just by placing around 30 drops inside a spray bottle filled with water and shaking before applying. Because air freshener particles end up on the floor, make sure that your floor is not sensitive to lemon essential oils.

Lemon Essential Oil for Cleaning


Lemon as Wood Polish


Believe it or not, lemon also works as a great wood polish! You might think that such an acid agent can be harmful to your wooden surfaces or items.

Using this mix on hardwood floors is not a good idea, though. Vinegar is too aggressive on hardwood floors, which are already sensitive on their own. But it will work great on wooden furniture and laminate wooden floors.

To create your own DIY wood polish, start by mixing two tablespoons white vinegar, two tablespoons olive oil and one tablespoon lemon juice.

For the rest of the surfaces, as always, test first in a small spot and confirm that it’s safe to use before applying on the entire area.

To prepare this great furniture polish, simply add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a bit of olive oil and apply with a rag to clean, protect, and shine wood finishes.


Lemon and Salt to Clean Your Toilet


No one wants to have a dirty toilet, and it can be so challenging to keep them clean and free of stains and marks.

Just grab half a lemon and squeeze it into the bowl. Sprinkle kosher salt immediately afterward and grab your toilet brush to scrub all across the surface for about 2 minutes.

You’ll notice those stubborn stains being removed slowly. For even higher deodorizing power, start by adding baking soda and let it sit for one or two hours before adding lemon and kosher salt.

Baking soda is already a great deodorizer on its own, and adding lemon will combine the best of both worlds.


Lemon as Descaler for Your Kettle


If you have owned a kettle, you should know by now that they need to be descaled once in a while. This is because, with time, water minerals and other residues remain inside the kettle.

Most coffee machine brands sell their own descaler product, but you can also use lemon as a substitute, and you’ll only need the juice of a lemon and tap water.

Mix 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice and two cups of water. Pour the mix into your kettle and bring it to a boil.

Next, let it cool and discard your cleaning mix. Rinse with plenty of water and scrub inside your kettle as you go, with a soft sponge.


Lemon as Face Cleanser


Lemon is not only a great household cleaning product, but it is also efficient for personal care, particularly for cleansing your face. Its antimicrobial properties will help reduce bacterial growth in your skin, and it will also clear away dead skin residues.

It’s very important that you always seek guidance from your dermatologist before applying any product to your skin.

To create this facial cleanser, just mix two teaspoons honey with one teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Grab some with your fingers and then smooth a thin layer onto your neck and your face. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse with plenty of water.

Lemon and Honey Face Cleanser - Emily's Maids


Where Not to Use Lemon As a Cleaning Agent


As effective as it might be, there are no magic or universal cleaners.

A common mistake, especially around the kitchen, is to try using lemon for cleaning granite or marble countertops. Stone does not get along with acidic materials such as lemon and vinegar. Therefore you should avoid using them as much as possible, and invest in more neutral or specialized cleaning agents.

Remember: each surface and material has specific properties. Always test your cleaning agents in a small, inconspicuous place first.

Electronic screens are a big no-no as well. Laptop and computer monitors, TV Screens and smartphones do not get along with liquids, even more so if it’s an acid.

If you’re planning to use lemon essential oil as a cleaning agent, remember that pets are very sensitive. You should not use them if you have dogs or cats.

Lemon Slices in a Cutting Board - Emily's Maids


Conclusion


Lemon is more than a versatile ingredient. It has a wide variety of properties that can help with different fields regarding cleaning and personal care.

Natural ingredients are taking more and more popularity as cleaning products, and even though lemon has been used in manufactured cleaning agents, they also can be used directly from the source at home.

Feel free to check out the cleaning tips above and use lemon as you’d like to clean floors, surfaces and items.

And even though these tips are effective and easy, cleaning always takes time and energy. If you don’t feel like it, feel free to find more about our professional cleaning service!

Cleaning and Organizing Your Household: An Easy Guide

November 2, 2021 by emilysmaids

Cleaning and Organizing Your Household An Easy Guide


Households require a ton of work if you want them to be tidy and sanitized as long as possible. Let’s find out how to follow through with some cleaning and organizing strategies that will make you work smarter, not harder.


Cleaning For A Better Life


Who doesn’t like a clean, organized home? It doesn’t matter if you’re passionate about cleaning and organizing, or if you’re starting from the bottom and trying to improve your household skills.

The same happens whether you live or how big or small your house is. A big, two-story home in Dallas needs as much cleaning and organizing as a small studio apartment in New York.

If you think about it: they both come with pros and cons: a bigger house requires more items, and that can get out of control. With a smaller home, you can easily think that you have too little space when in reality you just have too much stuff to clean and organize. Keep reading to find some do’s and do’s about these two important tasks: organizing and cleaning.


Do Work Smarter, Not Harder


Cleaning and organizing for endless hours is not the right way to have a tidy, efficiently organized home. In fact, common mistakes are causing you to take extra effort, time, and resources.

Cleaning and organizing “here and there”, without a structure or plan, is not necessarily bad, but it can definitely fall into the “working harder instead of smarter” category. 


Do  a Little Bit Every Day


This is important especially if you’re not used to cleaning that often or as part of your routine. Getting started with that is challenging, and you don’t want to burn out after two days of cleaning non-stop. Instead, what you want to do is create momentum by starting slowly.

It can be as short as 10 minutes a day. It’s not about the outcome today, but more about getting your mind and body used to clean and organize.

Think about it this way: even though it might be tempting to spend all your energy and willpower right away to clean for 6 hours non-stop, this is just a temporary solution because it’s highly likely that you’ll do this once every two to three months.

Instead, if you clean every day for 20 minutes and then, let’s say, 3 hours on the weekend, you’d not only dedicate more time but it is also distributed more efficiently throughout the week.


Do Find an Accountability Partner


If you have problems sticking to a schedule and creating discipline on your own, this can be the perfect solution. An accountability partner is a person that will help you keep track of your habits, in this case, cleaning and/or organizing.

It could be a family member, a close friend, or even an acquaintance. This could be mutual or single-sided, whatever works for you.


Do Find the Perfect Schedule for You


Your agenda is something very personal and it should be adapted towards making your life better. Try different cleaning and organizing routines and see what works best. Perhaps you are in the mood for household chores first time in the morning, or right after lunchtime, or just before you go to sleep.

And unless you hire a cleaning service to let them take care of the hard work for you, then it’s up to you to find out where to find time for cleaning and organizing.


Cleaning Your Home: Do’s and Don’ts


If you want to incorporate a 15-minute daily cleaning into your home, it’s important to be realistic and set priorities because you won’t be able to tackle down your entire house, and it’s not necessary to do so, at least not every day.

Besides setting priorities when it comes to the actual rooms you’re cleaning, you should also set goals for each room. Some elements inside a room should be cleaned every day (like making your bed) while some can last a few days without any issues.


Do Set a Small Schedule


Just like organizing, cleaning doesn’t have to involve endless hours in order to be productive or efficient. Unlike organizing, it can be more frequent inside your household, because there’s something that needs to be cleaned every day, even if it’s just the dishes or the kitchen counter.

Creating habits is a complex human process, and research has shown that there are techniques to achieve it. 

There is a lot of advice that applies to both organizing and cleaning and starting small is not the exception. If you have a traditional work/family schedule, your weekdays are probably busier or less flexible than your weekends.

Setting a timer by just 10 or 15 minutes a day can show you results fast, even if it’s small progress. Remember, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Great results usually show in the long run.

Besides this regular maintenance, you can either hire a cleaning service once or twice every month, or you can assign a day of the week (whether that is a weekday or a weekend it’s up to you) to deep clean on your own.


Do Adapt Your Cleaning Chores To Your Time


Now, if you’re planning to have different cleaning routines, this means that the rooms and tasks should be adaptable too. For example, loading dishes into the dishwasher should take you less than 2 minutes, whereas scrubbing the entire kitchen and pantry can easily take you one hour or longer.


Do Clean As You Go


This applies especially to your kitchen, but it can be practical to many other scenarios, such as doing laundry or just walking from one room to the other when you’re at home.

It can be common to find that your kitchen is a mess after preparing a great meal, and here’s why: while food is getting cooked, you can take a few minutes to place dishes in the dishwasher, or clean small kitchen utensils and silverware.


Do Clean in the Right Order


Another common mistake is to clean in the wrong order, getting surfaces dirty after they’ve been cleaned out and wasting time and energy. Before deciding on cleaning, think of the course of action you’re going to take. Start cleaning from top to bottom, following that same direction when wiping or scrubbing surfaces.

If you’re doing the kitchen, for example, start with the top cabinets, followed by countertops, bottom cabinets, and then the floors. This way, the floor is already going to be dirty by the time you finish and you can move on with sweeping, and mopping and/or washing your floors.


Don’t Clean With Dirty Tools


This mistake is more common than you think. People like to clean using dirty or smelly rags, brushes or sponges. Or maybe they do clean them constantly, but they leave them dirty and wet after finishing. This is dangerous because bacteria can grow if there are moisture and residues on the cloth or sponge.

In fact, this happens all the time with kitchen sponges and that is the reason why they have to be disposed of regularly. Make sure you clean them permanently as you go, and that you keep them dry and sanitized after you’ve finished by air-drying them.


Don’t Go Crazy With Cleaning Supplies


Cleaning can become overwhelming and expensive if you start filling your cleaning pantry with dozens of cleaning supplies. Search for multi-purpose cleaners, whether they are designed that way or by nature.

Vinegar is an extremely versatile cleaner, for example.

Baking soda and lemon juice are also popular as cleaning agents and are safer to use than artificial cleaning products. Eco-friendly companies offer all-purpose cleaners that are designed to be useful for cleaning countertops, wood, tile floors and so on.


Organizing Your Home: Do’s and Don’ts


Find the perfect place for each item. If your home is permanently unorganized with things out of place, it might be because you haven’t found the spot for each item to begin with. If you feel that you have a ton of stuff, perhaps they don’t belong at home in the first place.

Clutter is becoming more and more common, but so is clutter “awareness”. You might keep items that you haven’t looked at or used for years because they are/were functional or because they have sentimental value.

However, at this point in your life you might not enjoy them anymore, and its time that you find a better place for them.


Do Sort Stuff By Category


Sorting your items can be useful in order to feel less overwhelmed. A good rule of thumb is to sort everything by category instead of by room.

Let’s say you want to declutter your clothing. If you grab all of your garments in every room, you’ll have a better understanding of everything that you own at one sight. The same can apply for office supplies and documents and miscellaneous items. 


Don’t Start With Too Many Stuff to Clean and Organize


Cleaning and Organizing can be difficult or discouraging if there are too many things to start with. This can become an issue and increase the difficulty for your cleaning and/or organizing.

Organizing without decluttering is a common mistake if you haven’t decluttered in a while. A good rule of thumb, especially for households of one or two family members, is to ask yourself this question: Am I able to name all the things I own? If you miss more than half of your items, you might need to declutter to realize everything that you have.

An empty laundry basket or trash can is a great tool for both decluttering and organizing. Pick up an empty basket and collect things around your house that are either out of place or that you’re thinking about getting rid of them.


Don’t Feel Overwhelmed With Organizing


One of the common mistakes that comes with organizing is not knowing where to start and feeling overwhelmed right after you started. This can come from lack of planning, or from assigning the wrong amount of time to each room. Avoiding this will require trial and error.

You can start by assigning different “goals” for each room. For example, today can be the “decluttering the closet” day. The next day, everything related to paperwork and office supplies, and so on. Let’s say you will declutter your closet once every two months. The first time, set a timer and find out how long it takes you. Let’s say it took you 3 hours.

Next time, you’ll already know that it can take you 3 hours to organize your closet, probably less because you’re starting to declutter more often. Now you can set a timer for 2 and a half hours. Next time for two hours and so on. This can make it easier to find a balance to be fast enough yet give yourself plenty of time to finish your task.


Don’t Compare Yourself to Others


Another common mistake is to compare your work to others, especially influencers and social media users on the internet with cleaning and organizing advice. It can feel like a lot of pressure to meet those standards of people with already organized and beautiful homes, which makes it already more stunning and spotless.

If you feel like finding some guidance with cleaning or organizing social media experts it’s best to find someone relatable, that talks about the mistakes they make and how to fix them and improve, instead of being perfect all the time. Remember, the goal is to make your life easier and happier, not harder.


Conclusion


There you have it! This is a guide with useful do’s and don’ts that will help you finish your organizing and cleaning tasks in no time. Build the habit with small steps, increasing difficulty and time spent until it’s comfortable and efficient for you. You’ll improve your life quality by having a clean and tidy home as frequently as possible.

And if things get out of hand, don’t worry! Get back on track and prioritize your mental and physical health. However, as efficient as you can be, having to take care of an entire household can be challenging. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to forget about doing tedious cleaning tasks.

Deep Clean Your Couch and Bring it Back to Life

October 6, 2021 by emilysmaids

Deep Clean Your Couch and Bring it Back to Life


Deep cleaning your couch is one of those tasks always seem to be left behind until it’s too late. Your couch collects dust, dirt, and color can fade away slowly over time.

If you realize that your couch is in need of some serious cleaning, keep reading and give it a try!


Before Cleaning, Get to Know Your Couch


Knowing the material the couch is made of is key. Every type of surface reacts differently to its environment, such as temperature and humidity. For example, Dallas can get very humid depending on your area. This can affect your couch, especially if it’s made from organic materials such as wool and leather.

Also, keep in mind that not every material gets along with your cleaning products. Some products can get stains and water spots or decolor slightly. Make sure after buying a piece of furniture to write down every material it’s made of so you can treat your couch with care.

If your sofa is second-hand or if it’s been some time since you’ve bought it, there’s a possibility that you don’t know the specific type of fabric. If this is the case, check under your sofa, where cleaning codes can be found. These cleaning codes let you know which cleaning products will be safe to use, and which ones to avoid.

There are hundreds of possibilities for fabrics: materials, colors, textures, additional treatments, etc. Let’s go over the most common types of fabric and read the do’s and don’ts about each one to make them look brand new.

Brown Leather Couch


Cotton


Cotton is one of the most popular and cheaper fabrics, at least in the natural fiber category. It is very resistant to wear, moisture, and fading.

If it’s 100% cotton, it’s hypoallergenic. However, if it’s combined with other fibers, it can increase resistance and durability.


Cleaning Your Cotton Couch


Start by smacking your cushions to remove dust and debris. Do it outside if possible!

A vacuum cleaner will be your number one ally here. Start by vacuuming using the upholstery attachment. Don’t forget the cushions as well. Vacuuming will help you detect stains that you will need to remove later.

By now, your couch will probably look cleaner, but it may have some stains you need to take care of. Just add a 1:1 part mix of baking soda and water and apply with a brush or toothbrush, rubbing in a circular motion.

If your want to deodorize your couch, you can coat it entirely with a fine coat of baking soda (with no water).

Let sit for 15 minutes and then wipe with a microfiber cloth or with your vacuum cleaner.

Dry with a soft towel, and let it air dry overnight.


Linen


Linen is affordable, airy and “breathable” so you won’t have trouble with it during summer. On the other hand, it’s not meant for everyday use because it wrinkles and stains easily.

If you have kids or pets you shouldn’t consider linen as an option.


Cleaning Your Linen Couch


For removing a few stains from your linen couch, add two or three drops of neutral soap to lukewarm water. Dab gently using a wet cloth. Make sure you remove soap with warm water and then a dry cloth at the end. Don’t rub or scrub too hard because it can worsen your stain.

Most linen covers can be machine washed or dry cleaned. Make sure to check the instructions before attempting any of this.     


Leather


Leather is a great material because it has a lot of personality on its own.

This is a very durable and low-maintenance option but, just like every other organic material, leather can be very sensitive. It requires certain temperature and humidity levels to stay “healthy”. If the moisture level is too high, it becomes greasy and unpleasant to touch, as well as more prone to bacteria and fungi.

If it’s too low, it can start to show cracks and wrinkles which, besides not looking good, it also indicates that the leather is losing resistance and can lead to permanent cracks.

It can also be damaged because of sharp objects, such as metal edges or a pet’s claws.


Cleaning Your Leather Couch


Vacuuming with a soft brush attachment is enough for regular maintenance. Saddle soap is essential to take care of leather the same way you need moisturizer for your skin. Make sure you don’t overdo it, though. Once every 6 months is a good rule of thumb.

Make sure you know the type of leather you’re working with, whether it’s protected or unprotected. Most leather furniture is made with protected or finished leather. Unprotected or aniline leather is softer and more premium, but also more sensitive to stains.

Treat your stains as soon as possible because the more you let them without treatment, the harder it will be to remove them later. Although DIY solutions are almost always a great idea, organic materials such as leather and wood don’t always get along with them. In this case, it’s best to buy specialized cleaning agents.

Make sure to avoid chlorine or cleaning products that contain it because it might leave stains. Don’t use rubbing alcohol when cleaning leather, either. Rubbing alcohol will cause leather to crack and lose its natural healthy moisture.

On the other hand, wet cleaning should be avoided too. Natural fiber fabrics retain too much water, and it will be difficult to dry once it’s been absorbed.

Black Leather Couch


Nylon


Nylon is one of the strongest upholstery fabrics on the market. It’s a synthetic fabric resistant to stains, tears, stretching, shrinking, wrinkling, you name it. However, it does attract a lot of pet hair.


Cleaning Your Nylon Couch


In this case, if you have pets, you’ll want to get yourself a pet vacuum cleaner. There are vacuum cleaners that are designed specifically for cleaning pet hair, dander, and other residues.

Rubbing alcohol can work for removing stains. Just apply rubbing alcohol using a spray bottle, then scrub with a microfiber towel until it’s gone.

Gray Couch With Green Throw Pillows


Olefin or Polypropylene


It’s a durable and cleanable material. It is also stain-resistant. It can fade when exposed to sunlight, though olefin usually goes under a UV treatment to prevent that.

Because of that, it can be quite common to find olefin furniture for outdoors. It is also washable, but you shouldn’t use hot water because it’s heat sensitive.


Cleaning Your Olefin Couch


Olefin fabric is easy to clean, for the most part. It does have a hard time getting rid of oil or grease-based stains. For regular cleaning, you can mix one tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent and four cups of water.

Use a clean sponge and soak it on your cleaning mix, then squeeze until it’s only slightly damp. Remember, you don’t want any excess liquid to be absorbed by your couch, no matter the material.

Gray Couch With Throw Pillows


Wool


Wool is a natural fiber that comes from sheep (mostly). It’s popular as a material for carpet floors and it’s also a common choice for sofas. Just like most materials from organic/natural sources, it’s known for its durability.

In fact, wool is used as a material for protecting mattresses because it’s resistant to fire, mildew and bugs. However, it also comes with a downside: it needs to be dry cleaned in order not to shrink or lose color.


Cleaning Your Wool Couch


Same as leather, vacuuming regularly is the best technique for keeping your couch clean and healthy. Remember to use an upholstery attachment to protect your surface.

If you want to clean any spills or stains, you should damp a piece of cloth in either water or solvent -depending on what the care tag allows you to- and gently blot on the surface.

You don’t want to scrub because that will just spread the problem everywhere. Remember to dry with a clean cloth and let it air dry afterward.

Gray Couch With Pillows and Plants


Couch Cleaning Basics


Make sure to check that your couch has a care tag that identifies the methods and products that are safe to use for cleaning it. A “W” means that you can clean it using water. An “S” means you can only use a solvent-based cleaner. “SW” means you can use either. “X” means that you should only use a vacuum for your couch.

Avoid products such as ammonia, baby wipes, or dishwasher. They can contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to your couch, causing anything from yellowing to total color fading.

White vinegar is an amazing stain remover, and it works for most types of upholstery. Always try your cleaning solution in a small, non-visible area in the back of your couch. If you know the specific material your couch is made of, do some research and see how it behaves with any chemical you’re thinking of using on your couch.

An easy, all-purpose cleaning agent can be created by mixing four cups of water, two tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 teaspoons of neutral dish soap. Remember, check your specific fabric first to see what chemicals are safe for use, and always test on an inconspicuous spot.

Read more: How to Clean Using Vinegar

White Couch and Plants


Don’t Forget Cleaning Your Couch Frame


Since we’re talking about deep cleaning here, you can’t forget about your couch frame. They are usually made of two distinctive materials: wood or metal.

For metal frames, you can use a nylon brush. They’re very easy to clean because you will only need warm, soapy water. You can create that by mixing two cups of water and half a teaspoon of neutral dish soap. Scrub your surface and then remove it using cold water. Finish by drying everything with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. You might need to wipe the surface several times until everything is free of liquids and soap.

This is a DIY cleaning mix, although the ideal product to buy is a Metal Cleaner. Remember to make sure that nothing remains damp because this can create rusting in the future.

For wood frames, they’re not only going to need a good cleaning, but they also need to be moisturized every once in a while if you want them to look nice and shiny. Vacuuming is a good option for wood because it doesn’t involve water, and it can be done at the same time as the rest of your couch.

Depending on the type of wood, you might want to apply oil, conditioner, or furniture polish every couple of months. Natural furniture polish can be created using half a cup of olive oil, half a cup of cooking vinegar and the juice of a lemon.

These three ingredients combine stain-removing, sanitizing and disinfecting properties, (besides a great fragrance afterward!). Mix everything and apply with a clean cloth, wiping away any excess with a different, dry microfiber cloth.

Woman Sitting and Reading On a White Couch


Couch Cleaning Bonus Tips


A darker couch will need higher maintenance. However, stains will be more visible on a light couch.

If you have several kids and/or pets, maybe a couch cover could work for you. They’re usually made of microfiber or polyester/spandex, are machine washable, can adapt to different sofa sizes, and will protect most of the surface of your couch (if not the entire surface) against stains or spills.

That being said, depending on the type of cover they might not be strong enough for protection against sharp objects.


Conclusion


Time to deep clean your couch! Make sure to test first whatever technique or product you use before going in. Your couch could be made out of hundreds of possible fabrics, so make sure that you know the type of material before attempting to clean anything.

Remember you can always hire a cleaning service if you want a professional, deep clean on your couch and your entire home!

Hopefully these tips will convince you to give your couch and armchairs a nice deep clean!

Organizing vs Cleaning: What Matters Most?

September 28, 2021 by emilysmaids

Organizing Vs Cleaning What Matters Most Emilys Maids


Cleaning and organizing play a key role in our everyday lives. They usually go side to side: if your home is messy, it’s probably lacking a little bit of both cleaning and organizing.

However, when it comes to priorities, what do you do first?


The thing about cleaning


Cleaning is an everyday activity whether you like it or not. Every time you take a shower, or do the dishes, or brush your teeth, there’s cleaning involved. Nothing beats taking a hot shower and feeling brand new to start your day off. Cleaning is, for the most part, methodical and consistent: you pretty much clean the same every day, and then maybe once a week or a month you deep clean each room.

You are taught since you were little to clean yourself and your surroundings. That’s why it’s very uncommon for us to go a full day without brushing our teeth or doing the dishes, or without changing clothes unless we’re having a busy or complicated day.

It’s also a steady routine: most people clean a similar number of belongings, or rooms, or take roughly the same time doing so.

Scientific studies have proven that cleaning your home is correlated with positive affect, that is, experiencing positive emotions, to be in a good mindset.

Cleaning Woman with Gloves


The thing about organizing


Organizing, on the other hand, it’s a much more variable practice because it’s based on three factors: the number of stuff you keep, the average time that your rooms stay tidy, and the frequency of organizing. And this can vary a lot depending on the size of your home, the number of rooms, your belongings and the way you interact with them, and so much more.

You might be a very organized person, yet it takes you hours to go through your entire office or closet every time you declutter. Or you might be more of a sloppy kind of individual and put your entire home in order in just an hour or two.

Research also tells us that if you work in a messy environment, you’re less accurate than in a tidy environment. If you’re working from home and you noticed you’ve been making errors often, this might be the reason.

Related: The 20-10 Method for Cleaning Your Home

Folding clothes and organizing


Organizing and Cleaning As Part of Your Well-being


As the aforementioned studies have shown, cleaning and organizing play a key role in your well-being. But this is also true the other way around. Having extremely unorganized or dirty rooms over extended periods of time might be happening in the first place because you are feeling unmotivated, overwhelmed, or constantly tired.

This means that you might need to take a step back and consider how to improve your current mindset. If you achieve to do so, this will reflect on your environment eventually. The secret to both organizing and cleaning is to start slow and build a habit rather than having ups and downs.

Being consistent with a decently kept home is much better than doing a cleaning spree once every 6 months and then going back to clutter and mess. And this can only happen if you also stay more or less consistent with a healthy state of mind. Place your mental wellbeing first and then you’ll be seeing your rooms clean and tidy sooner than you think.

Read more: Dividing Housework for Happier Homes

Messy desk drawer


Conclusion


Organizing and cleaning are just two sides of the same coin. They are important for you to stay focused, to live in a healthy environment for both your body and your mindset.

If you have to choose between one of the two, what do you like doing most? You might have more fun or feel more at peace organizing rather than cleaning or vice versa. You can’t be everywhere at the same time so it’s up to you to decide whether you lean towards organizing your rooms and your belongings, or if you prefer cleaning and sanitizing. And you can always keep your home clean and tidy by hiring a professional cleaning service, and problem solved!

Just remember to balance out your organizing and cleaning days and start small if it’s not part of your routine. Good luck!

How to Clean Your Bathroom Step by Step

September 22, 2021 by emilysmaids

How to Clean Your Bathroom Step by Step Emily's Maids

 

Bathrooms are usually one of the most challenging places to clean. Even though they are usually the smallest rooms in the house, they seem to take so much work.

The thing is, bathrooms are usually filled with moisture and, in many cases, lack sunlight and natural ventilation. This creates a setup for bacteria and mold to grow and that’s why we always have a hard time dealing when cleaning our bathroom.

And if you haven’t hired a cleaning service yet and you are thinking about tackling this on your own, keep reading so you can find out tips to clean each important component of your bathroom.


How to Clean Your Bathroom Sink


The sink is usually filled with residues of saliva, soap, and toothpaste. For starters, fill the sink with hot water. If you let that sit for a while the process will be so much easier. You can start cleaning something else in the meantime.

Optionally, you can add half a cup of white vinegar. After 10 or 15 minutes, scrub using a non-scratch scrubber. Clean Bathroom Sink


How to Clean Your Toilet


For obvious reasons, the toilet is the one component that needs the most thorough cleaning. Using disposable towels is the most sanitary way to proceed here. To clean your toilet seat and outside surfaces start by mixing one cup of baking soda and ½ teaspoon essential oil. Next, apply to the surface, and spray vinegar over it. Then, scrub with a brush and let sit for 10 minutes. Finally, rinse with plenty of water.

If you don’t need a deep clean and you’re just looking for a light touch-up, just spray with vinegar, and after letting sit for 5 minutes, wipe using a disposable towel.

The same goes for your toilet bowl: add baking soda and essential oil, but this time instead of spraying vinegar just add two cups of white vinegar. Scrub and flush the toilet after 10 minutes.


How to Clean Your Bathtub


For bathtubs, you can mix one cup of baking soda, three spoons of dish soap, and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Rub all over the surface and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with plenty of water.

If your bathtub requires a deep clean, after doing the previous routine, add some bleach and scrub with a non-scratch scrubber. Clean bathtub and toilet


How to Clean Your Shower


Keeping track of cleaning your showers is not easy. Since it is a flat surface that has water running constantly, it’s not surprising to see mold, mildew, and yeast growing in it. If you see any potential bacterial or fungal growth you can use bleach to remove it. Spray bleach over the surface, scrub using a brush or broom and rinse with plenty of water.

Remember not to mix bleach with any other cleaning product. Wear gloves, a facial mask, safety goggles, and keep your windows or doors open for airflow.

The shower faucet is usually left out of the cleaning routine, and it deserves some cleaning once in a while! What you can use is a Ziploc bag! Tie a Ziploc bag around the showerhead filled with vinegar. Let sit overnight and voilà! Shower Faucet


How to Clean Your Bathroom Mirror


Glass is always a little tricky, you don’t want to leave any streaks or spots. Here’s a tip: newspaper used to work great for cleaning glass, and mirror is not an exception. Since newspaper hasn’t been around for years, coffee filters are a good replacement!

Sprinkling water and wiping it with coffee filters will mostly do the job. For a deeper clean, apply a one-part white vinegar, one-part water mix. Remember to scrub in a soft, circular motion.


Conclusion


There you have it! All the main areas of your bathroom. Take your time and try to clean your bath at least once a week, if possible, do a 10-minute cleaning every day as well, to keep things nice and tidy.

Don’t forget all the safety measures: gloves, a facial mask, safety goggles, and open doors and windows. If you want a professional to take care of this, remember to contact us!

What’s In Your Cleaning Cupboard? 5 Household Chemical Products and How to Handle Them

September 14, 2021 by emilysmaids

Household Chemical Products Emilys Maids


Maybe if you’re team DIY/Green/Homemade, your list of chemical products is reduced to vinegar, baking soda, bleach, and ammonia. On the other hand, you may prefer to keep a wide set of household chemical products for cleaning with all kinds of concentration, uses, and even fragrances.

Some of them might even have a commercial name but time went by and now you have no idea what they can be used for. Here’s when it comes into play the scientific name.

It’s time to go through a bit of a Chemistry class! Here’s a rundown of 5 chemical products that are probably sitting right now in your cleaning cupboard. Let’s find out what you should (and shouldn’t!) be using them for.


Ammonia, Powerful And Strong


Nitrogen trihydride is the correct scientific name, but It’s very uncommon to call it that way, even in the scientific world. This product is an effective degreaser and therefore useful for appliances and surfaces with a continuous presence of oil and grease.

It’s also effective at eliminating odors. Always keep your rooms well ventilated when using ammonia, and use all the protective measures.

It should be handled with extreme care, though, and you should never mix it with other products.

Spray Household Chemical Product Emilys Maids


Sodium hydroxide or Caustic Soda, A Tricky Household Chemical


Caustic soda is a very well-known cleaning agent that is mostly used to unclog drains. This is a risky technique because once the caustic soda reacts with water and it cools down, it solidifies, creating an even bigger problem. On top of your clogged drain, you would also have solidified caustic soda.

The secret here is to keep hot water running before and after caustic soda. This will help caustic soda to run through your drain normally, thus stopping it from setting in your plumbing.

Caustic soda is usually present in oven cleaners as well. It’s not a good idea to let our skin or our breathing come into contact with it so remember to wear gloves, a facial mask, safety goggles, and keep the room with proper ventilation.


Sodium hypochlorite or Bleach, Your Go-to Whitening Agent


Bleach is a great cleaning agent. As you might’ve heard already, it’s used as a whitening agent. Bleach is great if you want to clean and whiten at the same time. This means that you shouldn’t use this on anything that can be decolored such as clothing and floors.

Mixing bleach with any other chemical product is dangerous, especially if they are acidic. For example, mixing bleach with vinegar will create chlorine gas, which can be harmful to your nostrils and lugs.

If you mix it with ammonia, it’s even worse. A gas called chloramine is released, causing irritation to your eyes, nose, and throat.

Your health can be at serious risk if there’s a high concentration so please avoid mixing bleach with any other chemical product.

The exception here is baking soda. Mixing baking soda and bleach can be used for your laundry or for removing mold.

Clorox Bleach Container Emilys Maids


Sodium Bicarbonate or Baking Soda, The Perfect Household Chemical To Combine With Others


This is another popular product known for its service as both a kitchen ingredient and a cleaning agent. It creates an effective cleaning mix when combined with vinegar, releasing salt and water.

There are dozens of combinations with other ingredients to create a cleaning mix for every use you can think of. It can be used for cleaning your washing machine, your floors, your furniture, your clothing, your plumbing, and much more.  


Your #1 Must-Have Household Chemical: Acetic Acid or Vinegar


Vinegar is one of the most versatile, beneficial cleaners that can be found in both your cleaning cupboard and your kitchen. Depending on the concentration, it can be used for cooking (up to 5%) or cleaning (6% and up).

Vinegar is safe to use on most kinds of surfaces. It helps with sanitizing surfaces, removing stains, cleaning glass, and deep cleaning your belongings.

It can be mixed with (among many others) lemon, baking soda, detergent, essential oil, borax, salt, or even just plain water, and create an all-purpose cleaning product.

You can read more cleaning solutions using vinegar here.

Ammonia In Spray Bottle


Conclusion


Remember to keep a proper tag for each cleaning product you keep at home. If you lost the original tag, printing out a new one with instructions and warnings would be great.

Also, read carefully the ingredients of your cleaning products. Many of them contain ammonia or caustic soda, for example, and these are two products that need to be handled with care.

Using the right cleaning agent for every situation can take you time to learn, as well as a few errors along the way.

You can always hire a cleaning service if you want to let professionals take care of cleaning your home, including dealing with dangerous products so you won’t have to.

The 20-10 Method for Cleaning Your Home

September 7, 2021 by emilysmaids

The 20-10 Method For Cleaning Your Home


Keeping your home clean and organized is not easy. One of the hardest challenges is to create a mindset that allows you to declutter and clean for long hours in the first place. That is, if your home is a real mess and you have a lot of work to do. If you hire a cleaning service, you’re good to go. But what if you want to tackle this on your own and don’t know where to start? Here’s where it comes into play the 20-10 cleaning method.

Rachel Hoffman created a strategy to help people avoid feeling overwhelmed or burned out after a cleaning spree. It’s called the 20-10 cleaning method and, in fact, it’s not revolutionary by any means. Let’s take a look at its predecessor as well as guidelines so you can apply this method for your daily cleaning and organizing (or even your spring cleaning).


The 20-10 Rule: Pomodoro Applied to Cleaning


There’s a technique for increasing your productivity called the Pomodoro technique. It’s based on the classical kitchen timer with a tomato shape. This strategy consists of setting a timer for the time you should be working or studying and the time you should be resting. This creates combinations such as 25 minutes of work and 5 of resting, 45 and 15, 52 and 17, and so on.

Applied to cleaning, you have the 20/10 method! It’s the same principle: organize, declutter, or clean for 20 minutes or rest for 10. Of course, you can adapt this to whatever you want. The goal is to set a timetable to follow through.

In the long run, you’ll feel less burned out because you’ve been resting from time to time and didn’t spend 4 hours straight cleaning and decluttering.  On the other hand, it will create a structure that won’t let you work for 5 minutes and rest for 5 hours (yes, that happens).

You can start with the 20/10 timer and adjust as you go. What you want to achieve is consistency and set reasonable standards: it’s not worth it changing it to 45/5 if you’re going to quit after the first try. Start slow and work your way up.

Pomodoro Timer Emily's Maids


What Can You Clean In 20 Minutes With the 20-10 Method?


Now you might be asking yourself: what can I possibly achieve in just 20 minutes? And the reason this might seem like such a short time is that it’s meant to be used as a day-to-day cleaning routine. You’re probably not going to declutter your entire closet in 20 minutes. But here are some things you will be able to do:

Make your bed. This is not supposed to take you any longer than 60 seconds. Any more than that and you’re probably doing it wrong. Remember that you’re not looking for perfection here, you’re looking for consistency. Plus, if this is the first task you do in the morning, it will set you up for accomplishing bigger tasks throughout the day.

Organize your house.  What you want to achieve here is to bring back everything to its original place. Empty coffee mugs on your desk? Back to the kitchen. That sweater you left on your couch? Back to the bedroom or entryway. Are your office supplies invading your work area in your studio? Back to cabinets and drawers. This can easily take you 20 minutes or less, and you can bring in other family members if you have a big home.

Clean your floors. Depending on your type of floor, you may require sweeping, vacuuming, and/or mopping every day, every other day, or twice a week. This is a huge priority if you want to preserve your floors. Again, if possible, divide your task among the household members. This way, once you’re done sweeping, someone else can start mopping and so on.

Do the dishes. Not doing dishes can turn your kitchen into a mess faster than you think. You can do the dishes by hand or load your dishwasher after every meal. This would take you 20 minutes tops at the end of the day if you prepped a quick meal. Just like everything else: don’t let the mess build up. It’s more hygienic and smarter.

Sets of books and notes


Conclusion


If you want to organize your cleaning time, the 20-10 method helps you to become structured and create a habit rather than tackle a huge task and be exhausted afterward or disappointed for not accomplishing an unrealistic goal. It’s about adapting to a cleaning routine rather than fighting it.

Give it a try, start slowing, and don’t give up. Creating a habit can take weeks or even months, so be patient and persistent.

 

 

Clean Your Drain The Right Way

August 31, 2021 by emilysmaids

Clean Your Drain The Right Way Cover Emilys Maids


Your drain has seen it all, probably. If you’re a Texas cuisine aficionado, bacon and grease might be an everyday ingredient in your kitchen and, at the end of the day, it ends up in your drain. Whether it’s in your kitchen, your bathroom, or your laundry room, it’s time to give it a fresh new start the right way. Pick up your cleaning supplies and let’s clean your drain so it does the job properly.


Clean your drain with the baking soda + vinegar trick  


If you’ve spent more than 10 minutes googling cleaning tricks, you’ll probably have read by now about the magical combination: baking soda and vinegar. Although effective, you need to do this the right way to maximize your success at cleaning.

When you mix vinegar and baking soda, it creates an acid-base reaction. This means that they neutralize each other and release carbon dioxide, salt, and water.

While vinegar is the ultimate all-purpose cleaner, what you want to do here is remove all the grease and fat buildup and this mix just won’t cut it.

The trick is to add hot water. If possible, boiling hot (Just make sure you don’t get burned!), before and after adding your vinegar + baking soda mix. Hot water will help soften your fat and grease buildup, thus making your solution more effective.

The right order is to begin by adding hot water through the drain. This will prepare the ground, so to speak. Add two spoons of baking soda and then pour enough vinegar over it. You can try straight vinegar or mix it out with hot water. This will trigger the reaction and help clean and sanitize your drain.

Baking Soda and Vinegar


Caustic soda: the heavy artillery 


If you’ve tried everything else to no avail, you can use sodium hydroxide, commonly known as caustic soda or lye. To clean your drain out, pour some boiling water, then lye. Let sit for 5 minutes and then add more boiling water. Let plenty hot water run as much as possible.

Remember to leave it as a last resort because it needs to be handled with extreme care. It’s also not the best idea because you need to use boiling hot water or it may go solid inside your drain, and once it’s solid it will be extremely hard to remove.

Always make sure to use rubber gloves and safety glasses, as well as old clothes that cover your arms. Lye can be very dangerous especially if it gets in contact with your eyes so think it twice before using it.


Keeping your drain clean


After working hard to clean your drain, the smartest move is to avoid clogging it again. Avoid anything that can cause this, such as fat and oil. This includes lard, cooking oil, shortening, butter, and margarine. It’s best to through them away when they’re solid, directly into your trash can.

If it’s your bathroom’s or laundry room’s drain, avoid greasy soap and install a hair catcher so it won’t clog it. Fortunately, your vinegar and baking soda trick will also work with clogged hair.

Drain strainers are a must for both your kitchen and your shower, and even your laundry room if you use it often. They are lifesavers.

An old myth is that coffee grounds help to keep your drain clean. Not only this is false, but it’s actually the other way around: coffee grounds will clump together and clog your drain just like fat or grease does.

Caustic Soda


Conclusion


You probably won’t be able to keep your drain spotless. Don’t worry, they won’t break or clog overnight. Try to keep an eye on it because if you don’t debris will start accumulating and it won’t be nice.

Every two or three months, try to take a mental note of how long it takes water to go down the drain. If you see that it stands too long before slowly going down, or if you sense an unpleasant odor coming out of it, then it’s time to clean that up!

Green Cleaning Tips: How to Join the Eco Friendly Movement

August 24, 2021 by emilysmaids

Green Cleaning Tips How to Join the Eco Friendly Movement Emilys Maids

Green cleaning is a popular trend nowadays that is part of an Eco Friendly movement, in order to reduce our impact on ecosystems.

Climate change has been upon us for some time now. Pollution caused by excessive consumption of single-use plastics has devastating effects on the atmosphere, the land, and the oceans.

According to the Center for Public Integrity, between 2017 and 2019 ExxonMobil and Dow were building 17 new polyethylene plants and lines along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana.

Fortunately, there are ways for you to help fight climate change. Here are some recommendations for reducing your carbon footprint and incorporating eco-friendly solutions into your household.


Avoid Plastic


Most products come in one-liter bottles or even smaller sizes, and most of them are used only once and then disposed of, which is part of the problem. Here are some plastic-free options for your household:

Bamboo brushes for your teeth or for doing the dishes.

Glass products in all shapes & sizes such as containers, mason jars, carafes… you name it. They look great and can be reused as many times as you want, just make sure you handle them with care!

Personal care products are also following the plastic-free trend. Stainless steel razors, shampoo bars, handmade soaps… Most of these products, if not all, are free of plastic and harmful chemicals, vegan, and cruelty-free!

Bulk shopping is cheaper, you can buy the exact amount of food you want, and you can bring your shopping bags and reuse them hundreds of times.

Personal Care Green Eco Friendly Products Emilys Maids


Bring Your Own Bottle


According to the U.S. EPA, over 35,000 tons of plastic were generated in 2018.  Water bottles are among the most common plastic items found in the ocean. Just make sure to bring your own bottle every time you go out! Staying hydrated is important and you never know how long you may be out. Even better, you can buy your own stainless-steel thermos or travel mug: they are resistant, easy to clean, and can last for years or even decades. The same goes for your shopping bags.

Also, plan your trip to the grocery store! Buy as much as you can in a single trip and plan out your food consumption for the next week, fortnight, or month. This will allow you to save some money because you will spend it wisely. You will also maximize your time and energy. Finally, you will be reducing your car’s gas consumption.

Some stores offer personal care and cleaning products in gallon-sized bottles that you can use multiple times, thus reducing the use of smaller-sized, one-time plastics.

Aluminum and Glass Eco Friendly Water Bottles Emilys Maids


Support Smaller Companies With Green Cleaning Alternatives


Plastic is cheap. Big companies like that. Fortunately, now there are dozens of smaller companies that offer green, plastic-free cleaning products, and you can find them in the entire U.S., including Dallas. They offer alternative packaging that doesn’t involve single-use plastics such as cardboard, paper, or biodegradable containers.

The same goes for grocery stores that now offer the choice of buying in bulk. Find the one nearest your home and voilà!

Sustainable Eco Friendly Packaging Cleaning Personal Care Emilys Maids


Everyday Green Cleaning Products


Now, the great news is that you can create your own “green” or eco friendly products at home, for both personal care and cleaning. Everything from all-purpose cleaning solutions to body soap and shampoos.

There are a bunch of online tutorials to make every possible cleaning or personal care product you can think of. Don’t worry, it won’t take a BSc in Chemistry to create them. In fact, you probably have ingredients in your kitchen right now to create a handful of them. You can check this guide, for example.

These products will be cheaper to produce and will reduce your plastic consumption. You can also create your own, custom mix (e.g., adding your favorite fragrances or no fragrance at all). Beware that it might take a while for your body to get accustomed to some homemade personal care products.

Green Cleaning and Personal Care Products Emilys Maids

 


Conclusion


Going green can be a slow process. Be sure to get on track as fast or as slow as you feel comfortable with, just give it a try!

And if you don’t know where to start, you can always leave it to the professionals! We are more than familiar with using natural or organic products per our client’s request.

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