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Easy Tips For Easter Cleaning

March 31, 2021 by emilysmaids

Easy Tips For Easter Cleaning 

Easy Tips for Easter Cleaning

Easter is fast approaching and you’d like to have friends and family over, isn’t it? Think about all those decorated Easter eggs, chocolates, food, and drinks. It signifies the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how He gave us salvation. While preparing for Easter, don’t forget that your home surfaces matter too. Wouldn’t you want your loved ones to visit a sparkling home space? This easy Easter Cleaning guide will give you some tips to help clean your home in readiness for the Easter celebrations.

Is Easter Cleaning Important?

 

You may be wondering if you can’t just clean your house for Easter like the regular days. Well, Easter cleaning is as important. You need to clean out and touch areas you normally leave out every other day. If you are having kids over, you need to clean thoroughly too. This is because they tend to spill for, pick them up and toss in their mouths while you’re not looking.

Also, celebrating in a well-cleaned space makes it enjoyable and more fun. More so, it would be easier for you to clean up after the celebrations.

Do’s and Don’ts

 

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind while cleaning up for the celebrations:

  • Your surfaces should be clean and dry all the time. If you leave wet surfaces, you’d be breeding mildew and mold. This can ruin your surfaces and spread diseases.
  • Do not clean your tiles and floors with acidic cleaners.
  • Clean your upholstery to get rid of dust.
  • Follow your normal cleaning routine, however, make it a few steps ahead.
  • Try decluttering your home.

How Can I Make Easter Cleaning Easier?

 

You can always hire a cleaning service as we recommended a little while back. Like every other thing in life, when you plan ahead of time, it makes whatever you are doing easier and much better. This also relates to spring cleaning for Easter. How do you go about this?

First off, you need to create a plan. You can pick a day and allocate it to cleaning. You don’t necessarily have to be cleaning the whole day. Picking one day is part of the plan.

Next is to know the places you want to clean. There are so many areas in and around your home that you should focus on:

Kitchen: You probably leave out some areas in your kitchen when cleaning on a normal day. Clean out your refrigerator, behind your cupboards, at the back of your freezer, ovens, dishwasher, and so on.

Carpets and Rugs: Easter cleaning should be the perfect time to deep clean your carpets and rugs. Why? Because they are often neglected during routine cleaning. 

Upholstery: Clean your upholstery to remove dust and stains. If you have sofa and cushion covers, be sure to wash them all.

Windows:  Most people forget that their windows also need cleaning, especially during summer. Dust and dirt buildup on them, making them unattractive to look at. Make sure you clean them during your Easter cleaning and give your home a brighter and more pleasant look.

Finally, you need to follow your plan and clean the places you have mapped out. You can have someone join you in the cleaning if you don’t stay alone. The kids can also help out with minor chores like arranging books, packing up toys, and so on. Be also sure to check our checklist on spring cleaning! Many principles still apply.

Is It Necessary to Clear Clutter?

Woman Cleaning on Easter

Look around your home, there are so many things you don’t need or use anymore. They are just there and have become a part of your home. It could be anything from old books, old clothes, old furniture, magazines, toys, and more. These are referred to as “clutter”. Take time to clear them out and breathe in fresher air.

It is very necessary to clear out clutter because they tend to take up space that would have been used for better purposes. So, clear them out and get rid of them.

Conclusion

In all, Easter cleaning isn’t something you should stress yourself about. Just consider it as your regular cleaning. The only thing different is that you are cleaning a bit deeper. Guess what? You can play music and have fun while you clean to spice things up! By the time you’re done, you’d be proud of how sparkling and beautiful your home is.

Happy Easter! – have a great celebration ahead. Be sure to have lots of fun too!

Happy Easter Note

6 Surprising Health Benefits of Spring Cleaning for Your Family

March 20, 2021 by emilysmaids

You, like many others out there, have spring on your mind. Not only has winter been challenging, but many homes have also had to deal with freezing temperatures, snow, and power outages that have lasted for days. However, with spring comes spring cleaning.

I understand that cleaning goes a long way in making your home feel fresh and appear nice; however, there are more benefits than appearance. It will surprise you to learn that spring-cleaning helps the mental and physical health of everyone in your family.

If you need extra motivation to get down and start cleaning, read on for seven ways spring cleaning can help your mental and physical health.

Clean air strengthens the immune system

Seasonal allergies are most common during the springtime. Although enticing, blossoming new plants renew allergies for many. For example, dust, mildew, and mold are a few of the things that can trigger allergies in people. Since you can’t always control the outside world, you can control your little inside world by cleaning your home.

Spring cleaning improves the air quality around the home and lets you breathe better. Not just this, but it also supports a healthy immune system and prevents respiratory complications. The cleaning process encourages you to deep clean every corner of your home, vacuum floors and ceilings, wash blankets and beddings, and eliminate dust from your home. The combined effect of all of these improves the air around the home.

Improves mental health

Spring cleaning improves mental health by decreasing anxiety, depression, and stress. If you’ve noticed, people sleep better and are more productive when they work in a clean and tidy environment. When you clean, there will be less clutter around the house. Besides, the cleaning process involves tossing, recycling, decluttering, and donating some items. All of these activities liberate and refresh the mind.

For example, a clean bedroom promotes a good night’s sleep. Why? There is less clutter in your bedroom, you just changed your sheets, and there is a natural fragrance around your room.

Improves your mood and productivity

Cleaning significantly improves your mood and often leaves you feeling accomplished. Truthfully, not everyone likes the process. However, the result often leaves us extremely satisfied. This feeling of accomplishment coupled with a neat and fresh-smelling home improves your energy levels. It does not just boost the mood, but it also reduces the risk of depression.

Too much junk lying around your home can affect your ability to focus on a task. Conversely, when there are fewer things to distract you, there will be enough mental space to focus on the things that matter.

Prevents illness

This right here is the most obvious reason why you should clean your home during spring. Winter leaves surfaces iced and often present the perfect environment for germs and bacteria. To minimize the spread of viruses, clean your home. This point is even more important with coronavirus concerns. A clean surface improves food safety and significantly reduces illnesses.

Reduces the risk of an injury

Falls, slips, and bumps are the leading cause of injuries around the home. However, most of these accidents occur when things are out of place. Spring cleaning provides an ideal opportunity to make home adjustments to reduce the risk of an injury. You can schedule a time to declutter your space and remove items that don’t fit in their current position.

An ideal way to use expired products

Not what you’re thinking right? yeah. Nonetheless, spring cleaning provides an opportunity to use most of the cleaning products that have accumulated over time. Instead of waiting till the products expire, you can single out products near expiry and use them for cleaning.

Conclusion

Spring cleaning is great for your family, wallet, and health. Try some spring cleaning today or, better yet, have Emily’s Maids do all the hard work and watch your body thank you for it.

Hiring Cleaning Services for Spring Cleaning

March 12, 2021 by emilysmaids

Let’s face it, not everyone has the time and luxury of cleaning their homes for spring. Fine, cleaning yourself offers a lot of exciting ways to bond with the kids and release mental pressure. However, not everyone is cut out for cleaning. If you belong to this percentage of people who can’t clean, you should hire house cleaning services – like Emily’s Maids! – for spring cleaning.

Why you should hire cleaning services

Expertise and professionalism

So this is it, no matter how hard you try, your home won’t really be clean enough to your satisfaction. The reason is that it is difficult and almost impossible to clean perfectly as a professional cleaner would. This is the distinction between you and professional cleaners. Cleaning services handle stains and dirt daily; hence; they understand cleaning methods, supplies, and routines better than you.

Apart from this, cleaning services are professionally trained for cleaning. Hence, they have cleaning tools, equipment, and gadgets tailored to make each cleaning task easier. They also know which cleaning supplies to use to handle different cleaning jobs. So basically, cleaning services are trained to clean better than you and have enough professional knowledge to back it up.

Plus, it completely takes the risk away from you as you are not responsible for any botch job.

Frees your time

Speaking of time, the reason why most people prefer not to clean themselves is that there is not enough time to clean. The warmer weather after winter usually presents a list of activities you can enjoy with your family. Instead of trying to juggle between cleaning, your job, family, and activities, you can employ a cleaning service and strike cleaning off the list.

Saves money

Not the type of money you may be thinking of since hiring a cleaning service involves spending and not saving. However, if you consider the professionalism and the opportunity cost of doing something else with your time, you will realize it saves time. Professional cleaners are throughout and don’t do guesswork. This means, unlike you, they won’t buy the wrong cleaning supplies and waste money.

How to hire cleaning services

Get referrals from friends and families

Word of mouth is often the most effective form of advertisement. Hence, ask friends who they use for insights about cleaning services. More than reading what the company offers on the website, let your friends paint a better picture of their services.

Try online reviews

Another way to run a background check on cleaning services is to read reviews of unhappy people and their terrible experiences. If the company has more bad reviews and good ones, stay away! However, a mixture of good and bad reviews, but more good reviews are good.

Award winning cleaning service?

Similar to online reviews where customers offer virtual awards and recognition in the form of 5 star reviews, consider the awards the house cleaning company has earned from third parties, especially industry-related awards. Along the same lines is being trusted by the media and news outlets as a reputable source for stories. May not be an award, but definitely a positive recognition. So is the maid service often in the news?

Insurance and worker’s compensation

The cleaning service should be able to cover the cost of injury to an employee, theft, and damage to your house. If there is no such coverage, you will be responsible for an injured worker, theft, and property damage. Be sure to look into the coverage and policy for clarity.

Conclusion

There are absolutely more reasons why you should hire a cleaning service for spring cleaning. However, the important ones are that it saves time, energy, and money. It also ensures a better cleaning than you can ever achieve on your own.

Pre-Spring Cleaning Tips and Checklists

February 19, 2021 by emilysmaids

Everything gets better with checklists. Rather than spending time with undecisive motions and activities, checklists provide actionable plans you can implement to make pre-spring cleaning more productive. So, spring felt like a long time coming a few months ago. However, crazy snow and freezing temperatures will usher in spring in a few months. Although spring cleaning may have to wait a while, let’s help you with tips to help you get ready for spring cleaning.

Take out the trash

Cleaning can be challenging with you buried in stuff. Hence, the first thing on the checklist is to get rid of what you don’t need. This activity frees space around the home and provides a clear mind free of stress and anxiety. If you can efficiently perform this task, you won’t have much problem seeing the cleaning through to an end.

Take your time to get rid of the things you don’t need. By getting rid of them, you don’t always need to throw them into the trash. If you want, you can donate some items or sell them. However, ditch whatever is left. If there are too many items to dispose of, rent a dumpster or hire a removal service.

Get help with cleaning

There is nothing wrong with asking for help or calling a professional house cleaning service for help with cleaning. If you don’t have the energy or time to clean, ask around for cleaning services and book a time with the cleaning professionals. However, you can ask a friend or family member to help out. Besides, you can try automated cleaning with robotic vacuum cleaners. These cleaners get rid of debris and dirt efficiently.

Do these in no specific order

Yeah, the big idea is to get the job done without paying much attention to the order. Whichever works best for you, do the following:

  • Polish and wax the floor as needed to give it a bright appearance
  • Shampoo the carpets, wash the curtains and vacuum the floors
  • Rearrange the furniture, dust the walls, and clean hangings on your ceilings
  • Dust the bookshelves, baseboards, ceiling fans, and other surfaces
  • Clean the vents, dryer vents, air ducts, and replace the HVAC filters
  • Clean the window by wiping them down
  • Rearrange the kitchen and wash the dishes
  • Take out the fridge for a rub down and restock
  • Wash your bathroom and arrange the closet
  • Remove the pillow cover and bedsheets and wash them
  • Finish laundry and take out the trash

Checklist for outside

  • Inspect the gutters and roof for ice and snow damages. Also, check for loose shingles or noticeable issues with the tiles. Plus, remove debris, leaves, and sticks from the roof.  
  • Inspect the doors and windows for leaks, holes, and gaps. Repair and replace the windows and doors where necessary.
  • Check the sprinkler lines, heads, and valves and fix whatever needs fixing. Also, check pipes and faucets to eliminate cracks resulting from freeze damage. Check sensors on outdoor lighting to identify the need for a replacement.
  • Service the HVAC unit to improve its efficiency. Clean debris on the unit, change the filters and clean the coils.
  • Test and install smoke detectors around your house.

Conclusion

Cleaning, either pre-spring or spring cleaning is easier said than done. However, a pre-spring checklist makes cleaning easy and breezy.

Cleaning on Valentine’s Day

February 8, 2021 by emilysmaids

Since the moment it is born, almost every living organism embarks on the quest of finding and impressing the opposite sex. This relentless pursuit gives us one of life’s most significant challenges and one of its most profound consolations.

For people, love has been described as almost being like a dance. However, that is untrue.

To be honest, love is more like a chemistry experiment, with thousands of little variables that you continuously or unconsciously must get right.

The dreaded and highly anticipated “mood” must be reached and maintained.

Dirt is a mood killer

Speaking for myself and most people: nothing ruins “the mood” faster than poor hygiene.

Lousy breath, wrinkled and unkempt clothing, dirty fingernails are all deal breakers for many people. Yet, you will not be spared from this rejection if you maintain good personal hygiene, but your living space is in tatters.

Usually, these problems do not occur at the start of the relationship when we are all very eager to impress. Throughout a long relationship, we tend to rest on our laurels and just stop trying. We begin dressing down, welcoming our partner to a messy house, and overall neglecting the atmosphere, if not the person.

There is no greater passion killer than implying: “I already have you, and I take you for granted. Why try to impress you?”.

This Valentine’s Day should signal the start of a different paradigm. We each should strive to welcome our Valentine to a mood-setting, crispy-clean house. Those of us who are brave enough can even attempt to cook something, taking great care not to burn down the house we just spotlessly cleaned.

Smells and bells

A nightmare scenario can occur: you just cleaned your bathroom, and your Valentine is soon to arrive. Yet, a hint of a bad smell lingers. It was covered at first by the citrus-flavored vapors of your cleaning solutions, yet those wear off quickly.

This clinging smell may seem strange, but it is a common problem for many people.

Cleaning your bathroom often involves some disinfectant, bleach-based solutions that promise to kill the accumulated bacteria. Yet, we treat these disinfectants like ordinary soap, and we rinse them away instantly.

Then, we get tricked by their minty or citrus smell into thinking the toilet, the sink, or the floor is clean.

Funky, lingering smells are off-putting, and you can eliminate them by covering bacteria-ridden surfaces with disinfectant and leaving them to soak for about 15 minutes. Give it time to work.

Your sink is another primary source of funky smells, as it gathers grease, skin cells, hair, and all types of dirt. Bending over a sink that belches nasty smell is enough to ruin the mood with your Valentine.

Be sure to get some powder drain cleaner and pour it down the sink. After about 10 minutes, chase it down with boiling water.

Cleaning as a Valentine’s gift

It is not uncommon for partners to have a copy of each other’s house keys. As a surprise, you could take him/her out for a lovely dinner. As you are out on the town, you can hire a professional cleaning service to come and make the place spotless.

Most cleaners won’t refuse you if you ask them nicely to leave a few heart-shaped decorations lying around. Your Valentine will expect you to take them out, yet they won’t expect to come home to a Valentine’s themed, crispy-clean home.

Also, many maid services offer house cleaning gift cards. It’s practically a vacation away from cleaning – a perfect gift for your loved one.

Queen for a Day

This one doesn’t have as much to do with cleaning as it is just a simple and easy way to have your Valentine feel like a Queen for a day. Might take some planning but that is what makes it a sure hit.

Top 4 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaning Solutions

January 29, 2021 by emilysmaids

For most people, keeping a clean house not only guards your health but also promotes a more cheerful and upbeat disposition. However, the process of cleaning often involves using store-bought chemicals that can be highly toxic.

Certain commercial solutions will irritate your airways if you have respiratory issues, as you unwittingly breathe in the volatile fumes. While the use of toxic chemicals cannot be fully eliminated, you can use natural, non-toxic alternatives in certain situations. In fact, you can even make your own cleaning solutions using household ingredients.

This alternative is not only easier on your skin and lungs, but it also involves dirt-cheap ingredients that you probably already have lying around.

As a disclaimer, whatever you do, never mix bleach and ammonia. The resulting gas is extremely harmful to the human body, regardless of your health status.

This article will show chemistry has a place outside the lab as we explore some nifty DIY cleaning solutions.

1. Lemon-scented vinegar cleaner

You will need some lemon rind, white vinegar, rosemary springs, and distilled water for this mixture.  The ingredients should be mixed then left in a container for about seven days. After, it can be poured into a spray bottle for easy use.

This cleaner is effective against mineral deposit stains left by water; it can remove smears from certain walls; it can freshen your kitchen counters, and rinse your trash receptacle.

It is well-knows that vinegar has excellent cleaning power, but the lemon rind can also boost the solution’s effectiveness. It wasn’t included just for the sake of its refreshing smell.

Disclaimer: The lemon’s leftover citric acid can affect granite surfaces, so avoid using this cleaner on such surfaces.

2. DIY marble cleaning solution

For this cleaner, you will need only two ingredients: distilled water and dishwashing soap. Be sure to use a milder variety of soap.

Mix the two while being careful not to add too much dishwashing liquid, letting it to amalgamate for about 2-3 minutes. Then, using a soft sponge, wash the marble or granite surface. As previously mentioned, do not use lemon or any other type of citrus-based cleaner as it will erode the surface.

3. Stain removal solution

This solution is designed to remove persistent stains out of white clothing. It consists of 3 main ingredients: bleach, powder dishwasher detergent, and some hot water. The quantities may vary depending on how much you wish to produce, yet for a standard batch, you can use a cup of bleach and detergent for every gallon of water.

It is important to remember that it should not be mixed inside an aluminum container. You can use plastic, enamel, or stainless steel.

After the mixture is ready, leave the clothes to soak for about twenty minutes. For every more persistent stain, prolong the soak period for another 10-15 minutes.

4. Grease and grime cleaner

Ah yes, the nemesis of any homeowner: grime. As layers of grease pile on top of each other, they are repeatedly heated and left to set, a very persistent, sticky, and nasty layer of grime forms. It usually clings to stove hoods, stove grills, oven racks, and other surfaces that contact food.

The solution is easy to prepare: you should include a cup of sudsy ammonia for every gallon of lukewarm water. If you do not see results, add a little more ammonia.

Once it is prepared, dip a sponge in the solution and start washing the troubled areas. After, simply rinse the area with water.

Conclusion

As you can see, many of these solutions are very easy to make, and they do work. You do not have to worry about a high price tag or exposure to volatile and irritant chemicals. Try them out for yourself, and you’ll never look back.

6 Amazing Housecleaning Hacks

January 12, 2021 by emilysmaids

Cleaning is definitely a skill, a skill that is definitely in demand as most of the world’s population is locked inside. And make no mistake, there are quicker and more efficient ways of getting things done, instead of scrubbing everything until your hands are raw.

This is a list of cleaning tips and hacks designed to hasten the process without compromising the quality of the final results.

Here are a few ways in which you can work smarter and not harder:

1. Cleaning wax stains

Here’s a problem that used to be much more common a few hundred years ago: cleaning spilled and hardened wax.

While electricity has eliminated most of the need for candles, halogen and LED lights rarely bring out the romantic streak in people. Try as we might, we still need candles.

Spent candles are a nightmare to change, and most people throw out the pretty glass containers just to avoid having to clean them. Instead of taking a fingernail to the dried wax flakes, simply dunk the glass in some hot water. You can also add a little white vinegar as it will restore some of its shine.

The warm water will melt the excess wax, leaving the candleholder clean and ready to act as a centerpiece for your next romantic candlelit dinner.

2. Unclogging shower heads

Life is suffering.

And one of the main causes of that suffering is the loss of showerhead pressure.

While the previous statement may be a little hyperbolic, low showerhead pressure can indeed be a nuisance. The issue is mainly caused by mineral deposits that clog the tiny holes through which the water springs.

Thankfully, the situation is easily fixed: First, be sure to buy a scrubber sponge, and remove as much of the debris as possible. Of course, this will do a good job of cleaning just the exterior.

For the holes’ interior part, get a leak-free plastic bag, some water, and white vinegar. 

Now, mix the water and vinegar inside the bag. Remove the showerhead and place it in the bag to soak for about 30 minutes – 1 hour. This method will remove the deposits, so you will only need to wipe away the loosened debris.

Vinegar is excellent for any situation that involves limescale.

3.  Cleaning canvas sneakers

Here’s how you can waste money: take your sneakers and make them unusable by washing them in the washing machine. The result will be a collapsed, wrinkled mess with a sole that is starting to detach. Now that we’re covered what not to do, here’s how you can adequately clean your canvas sneakers:

  1. Take out the shoelaces.
  2. Take a soft-bristle brush, wet it, and slightly scrub any excessive dirt. Do this for the entire surface, including the sole, tongue, and edge.
  3. If the stains are very persistent, dip the brush in hydrogen peroxide first.
  4. Add a little mild dish soap to some warm water, then wet some cloth inside the mixture.
  5. Using the cloth, gently clean all of the sneaker’s surfaces.
  6. Repeat the same process; only this time, use a cloth soaked in just water for rinsing.
  7. Finally, stuff your shoes with paper towels to get rid of the excess water. As a bonus, this also helps to prevent them from collapsing into a wrinkled mess.

4. Cleaning red wine stains

“There’s no use crying over spilled milk.” Indeed, that popular saying is true. However, the argument can be made that crying over spilled wine is entirely justified. Milk doesn’t stain nearly as bad.

Regardless of the liquid in question, if you’re drinking it often, it’s only a matter of time until an accident happens.

After the spill, most people panic and start hectically rubbing the stain. Rubbing is a mistake, as it only works further to smear the wine into the carpet or clothing item. Your best option is to get a piece of cloth or multiple paper towels and use a dipping motion to absorb the moisture.

Remember: dip, don’t rub.

If the item in question is a shirt or a pair of pants, take it off and leave it to soak in a mixture of cold water and a laundry stain remover solution. About 20 minutes should be enough for the combination to work its magic.

If the discoloration persists, wash the garment in a mixture of bleach and warm water. It is essential to check that the bleach is designed to be used for fabrics and not just general-purpose bleach.

However, if you spilled wine on your upholstery, drenching it in bleach and detergent is out of the question. To remedy the problem, add some liquid dish soap to some lukewarm water, and then soak a sponge in the mixture. Use that sponge to clean the stain as much as possible.

Then, using a blotting motion, get an absorbent cloth to remove the remaining wine from the stain. Finally, rinse using a sponge and plain water. While you can leave it to dry, it is best to blowdry the spot.

5. Toothpaste to remove marker scribbles from wood

Kids sometimes like to color outside the lines, literally. While your little one is coloring, it’s only a matter of time until the table itself starts to look like an abstract painting. To make matters worse, crayons are out of style, and markers are much more popular.

Thankfully, an unlikely item will remove marker scribbles from wood: toothpaste. This advice is pretty straightforward, with no particular method involved. Simply use toothpaste to remove the stain, then rinse.

6. Remove odors from shoes

Thankfully, North America doesn’t foster a shoes-off inside the house culture. Still, many of us get self-conscious about the smell of our feet and shoes. While regular bathing or fungicide solves the former, the latter can be easily fixed with baking soda.

It seems strange, but pouring baking soda inside your shoe will remove the bad smells. Baking soda is famous for its ability to absorb any odor. That’s why it is often used in kitchen cleaning products.

The only mention is to make sure that the shoe is bone-dry; otherwise, the soda will absorb the moisture forming a messy paste.

Leave the filled shoes overnight, and by morning they will be as fresh as when you bought them. To get rid of the powder, shake it loose and tap on the sole while holding each shoe upside-down.

10 Tips for Effectively Cleaning Your Home During a Pandemic

December 14, 2020 by emilysmaids

10 Tips for Effectively Cleaning Your Home During a Pandemic

It’s always a good idea to keep your home clean. However, during a public health crisis, we can’t overemphasize how important it is to not only clean your home—but to clean it correctly.

In the U.S. alone, COVID-19 has infected millions of people and killed hundreds of thousands. Staying at home, maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet, wearing a mask, and frequently washing your hands are the top four ways to reduce your risk of exposure. However, a less common (but still viable) means of infection is coming into contact with contaminated surfaces. This is why cleaning your home could be the fifth line of defense against COVID-19. Keep reading to discover 10 tips for effectively cleaning your home during this challenging time.

Cleaning vs. Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting

Often, cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are terms people use interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the three. “Cleaning is the physical removal of visible soils and organic matter,” explains Dr. Kelly Reynolds, professor and department chair of Community, Environment & Policy; and director of the Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center at the University of Arizona.

On the other hand, Reynolds, who is also a Clorox partner, explains that sanitization is a process used to kill 99.99 percent of bacteria not visible to the naked eye within a five minute contact time. “Disinfection is the process of killing at least 99.99 percent of bacteria and other microbes, such as viruses.”

You Don’t Need to Disinfect Everything

Although COVID-19 is a virus, Reynolds says you don’t have to disinfect everything. “Use cleaners on visibility soiled surfaces to remove dirt, debris, grease, or bodily fluids,” she says. “Use sanitizers in laundry washes and apply sanitizers on soft/porous surfaces such as carpets and fabric upholstery.” When would you use disinfectants? “Target bathroom and kitchen surfaces for disinfectant use, as well as high-touch surfaces like light switches, door knobs, fridge and faucet handles, and remotes.”

How Often You Should Clean and Disinfect

How frequently you should clean and disinfect depends on your family’s patterns, health status, and other factors, Reynolds says. But she does have some general guidelines. “Disinfect kitchen surfaces every time before preparing food and after surfaces contact high-risk food sources like raw chicken or ground beef.” In addition, she recommends disinfecting bathrooms and high-touch surfaces on a weekly basis.

“If someone is known to be ill in your home, especially if they’ve recently tested positive for COVID-19, the frequency of disinfection should be increased to at least daily,” Reynolds recommends. “In these situations, always consult your healthcare provider or CDC guidelines for additional precautions to help enhance the health and safety of the entire household.”

How to Disinfect

There are plenty of disinfectant sprays and wipes that you can use. However, Reynolds says you can also use a mixture of bleach and water to disinfect any type of bleach-safe, hard, non-porous surface such as plastic, synthetic materials such as nylon and vinyl, stainless steel, glass, glazed porcelain, linoleum, latex, enamel, painted or finished wood, silicone, and also sealed brick, patio stone, stucco, and granite. She recommends the following steps:

1. Pre-wash the surface. 2. Combine 1/3 cup disinfecting bleach with 1 gallon of water. 3. Allow the solution to contact the surface for at least six minutes. 4. After six minutes, rinse well with clean water and let surface air dry.

Dealing with Sick Family Members

If you have a sick family member, Reynolds says you need to pay special attention to how you clean. “This individual can release germs that readily settle onto surfaces, linens, and clothing as well as the hands of those who are ill.” As much as possible, she says it’s important to isolate sick family members from others. “Also, frequently-disinfect surrounding surfaces of sick individuals, sanitize associated linens and clothing, and practice good hygiene.”

Don’t Forget About Bacteria

COVID-19 is a virus, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect bacteria, especially now that your family is spending more time together at home. “Generally, bacteria can live for days to weeks and even months on hard, non-porous surfaces, but generally require large numbers to infect people,” Reynolds says. “That is why it is important to maintain routine cleaning and disinfecting practices to minimize spread.” And she recommends using products specifically labeled as disinfectants as the most effective way to eliminate bacteria from hard surfaces.

Don’t Ruin Your Electronics

As you’re disinfecting high-touch areas in your home, use special care with electronics. “Don’t forget about your laptops, cell phones and tablets; for these, use 70 percent or higher alcohol-based disinfecting wipes,” advises Diana Rodriguez-Zaba, president of ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba. “This is important to truly eliminate germs and virus particles,” she says.

In fact, Lauren Bowen, director of franchise operations at Two Maids & A Mop, says smartphones and other tech devices may harbor more germs than a toilet seat. “Think about the number of surfaces you touch throughout the day—and then think about the times that you touch your phone, hold your phone to your face or send a text while eating.”

Clean Your Cleaning Supplies

To effectively clean your home, your supplies and appliances need to also be clean—and they don’t clean themselves. “Is there anything that works harder in the kitchen than the sponge? But it can also harbor bacteria, which a simple run through the dishwasher might not always fix,” says Bowen. She recommends soaking the sponge in a diluted bleach solution (1/2 teaspoon of bleach in a quart of warm water) and then rinsing it thoroughly. “If you can afford to, replace the sponge often, especially if your kitchen gets heavy use.” Bowen also recommends cleaning your washing machine by running a cup of vinegar through the hot cycle. “You can also leave the door and detergent areas open after a load to let the machine dry out after each use.”

Leave Your Germs By the Door

To minimize the number of germs and viruses being brought into your house, Leanne Stapf, CEO of The Cleaning Authority, recommends that you leave your shoes, handbags, and backpacks at the door. “If you have little ones with shoes that lace, either spray them with disinfectant or wash them frequently because you’d be surprised where those laces have been dragged.”

Stapf says you should also remember all of the places that your handbag or backpack—as well as your kids’ backpacks—have been and what they may have been exposed to, especially if they’ve been on the ground, or the floor of your vehicle. “Frequently clean these items with a cleaner that’s safe for the bag’s material,” she says. “Also, designate a place for bags to be left, like in a storage bench or closet by the front door, to prevent them from ending up on a table or countertop, spreading germs and viruses throughout your home.”

Know What You’re Working With

When you’re choosing a disinfectant, Jeff Gill, founder and CEO of Germinator Mobile Sanitizing & Disinfecting recommends one that is safe, effective, and user friendly. “You should select a disinfectant that does not use harsh chemicals or fumes to minimize the risk of potential health hazards for your loved ones,” he says. “Some disinfectants out there are toxic, corrosive, or can even damage surfaces, items, or the environment.”

In addition, he says, you should always choose a disinfectant that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “You’ll want a disinfectant that kills pathogens that are of concern like MRSA, COVID-19 (or SARS-COV-2), and other microbes,” Gill says. “The EPA List N contains a registry of various disinfectants recognized to kill pathogens of current concern and are approved for use on surfaces according to the label’s instructions.”

Abe Navas is the general manager at Emily’s Maids and he is also married to a cellular biologist. “She needs sterile surfaces for her cellular cultivation projects, and she has changed the way we see contaminated surfaces and objects.” For example, Navas says the best cleaning product you can have is alcohol. If you have visitors in your home, when they leave, he recommends cleaning behind them with alcohol. “Put it in a spray bottle and simply spray any ‘hot’ surface that could be infected and leave it be.”


This article, 10 Tips for Effectively Cleaning Your Home During a Pandemic, was originally published on Bob Vila. Reposting on Emily’s Maids’ blog because the pandemic cleaning tips are insightful and amazing! That and our own, Abe, is quoted.

If Your Home Smells Funky, Focus on These 8 Areas

December 9, 2020 by emilysmaids

Real Simple wrote an amazing article on getting to the source of stinks in your home, quoting Emily’s Maids’ own, Abe, on how to properly clean your trash can:

To clean the can properly, spray it with diluted bleach and let it sit for a few hours, says Abe Navas, general manager of Emily’s Maids housecleaning service in Dallas, Texas. Rinse it with plenty of water, and then use soap to wash it out.

~ RealSimple.com

For the full article, “If Your Home Smells Funny, Check These 8 Problem Areas” click here.

Kitchen Cleaning Tips

December 3, 2020 by emilysmaids

“You are what you eat” is a truthful saying that usually refers to the quality of the food that we consume. However, if we’re not careful, we could end up ingesting much more than we expect. As a general rule, there are entire ecosystems of bacteria and mold that like to consume food residue, in addition to larger household invaders like rodents or insects.

Both pathogens and pests like to eat as much as we do. Keeping a clean kitchen will ensure that we don’t accidentally ingest harmful bacteria, mold spores, cockroach remains, and other repulsive or harmful elements.

De-grease everything

Fats are some of the most calorically-dense substances in nature. It’s no surprise that almost every living creature craves the stuff. Also, the fat molecules themselves are resistant to water and hard to break down.

Of course, bacteria will readily form on stray fat and oil droplets. Even when a thorough cleaning can be postponed, be sure to scrub your stove and surrounding area with a soapy solution every time you cook. Water will just smear the fat, while the soap is great at breaking down fat molecules.

Cleaning any trace of fat will also prevent cockroach infestations.

It doesn’t take much to attract cockroaches. Each individual bug leaves a scent trail wherever it goes, making it easier for its siblings to follow. These critters just love fat and food residue, and their sense of ‘smell’ would put ours to shame. Even the tiniest stray droplets of fat will keep them coming.

Another repulsive aspect is that these insects eat constantly; thus, they leave their droppings wherever they go. One of the first indications of an infestation is the appearance of pepper-like granules all over your kitchen.

Using a citrus-based soap while cleaning will not only dissolve fat, but it will also mess with the chemical trails that cockroaches leave as trails to find their way back to your kitchen.

Even though your kitchen may look clean, it is advisable not to take any chances and be extra careful with fat residue.

Maintain your dishwasher

As it functions, your dishwasher can accumulate food residue that is very easy to miss. Be sure to check it after each wash, especially under the bottom rack. Its process of washing dishes may be great for dissolving grease, but food can have other, harder components such as insoluble string bean fibers, bits of pasta, etc.

Although it may seem to defeat the purpose of having a dishwasher in the first place, it is advisable to rinse your dishes before putting them in. This doesn’t have to be a thorough cleaning, just a quick process of eliminating most of the bulky food debris.

First, wipe the dish clean with a paper towel, then put it under the faucet for a few seconds. This swift, low effort action will assure that you remove any material that could clog your dishwasher or just sit inside it, gathering lethal bacteria.

Prioritize paper towels and not rags or towels

Depending on your habits, you may use a kitchen rag or towel to wipe off wet hands or wipe your dishes after the dishwasher leaves them a little wet. As a general rule, try to avoid cloth fabrics in your kitchen.

While to our naked eyes, it may look like a solid piece of cloth, it is an intricate forest of fibers on a micro-level. Each time you set it counter or wipe seemingly clean hands, a certain amount of food residue will cling to those fibers.

You do not have to be a microbiologist to know what will happen if you have a damp object with food particles lying around. Of course, it will quickly breed bacteria.

If possible, use paper towels for any wiping action, as they can be disposed of after being used.

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