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House Cleaning as a Gift for Mother’s Day

May 7, 2022 by emilysmaids

House Cleaning as a gift for mother's day - Emily's Maids

We all know Mother’s Day is coming soon, and what better way to celebrate than by cleaning your house as a gift for your mom or your significant other? We all know the hard, tiresome work that mothers do for their households and their families. The last thing they should be doing is cleaning on their special day!

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so make sure you read our article where we can give you a few cleaning tips for you and the rest of your family. Besides creating a special day and perhaps getting a thoughtful gift, you can also clean your home to remove stress and physical work from Mom.

Now, remember you can hire a professional cleaning service as a Mother’s Day surprise so your entire family can have a special day while your home is getting cleaned by Emily’s Maids of Dallas.

If you do want to take this into your own hands, you should pay attention to those areas that are not cleaned that frequently to make a huge impression and a noticeable change in your home.

Keep reading this guide to find out more!


Mother’s Day Cleaning: How to Get Started


First of all, you need to pick up all your supplies. Keep in mind you’re going to wash and wipe areas and surfaces that you don’t necessarily clean every day, such as windows, baseboards, windowsills, ceiling fans, and so on.

What we recommend is having several basic cleaning agents that you can mix safely with each other to form different cleaning solutions for each surface. You will need specialized cleaning products if you have delicate surfaces such as leather or wood.

Remember that organic products are sensitive to sudden changes in temperature in humidity. Dallas has noticeable changes during the day, which is why you need to take care of these types of surfaces.

Natural stone surfaces such as granite or marble are sensitive to acidic products, so you might want to get a specialized stone cleaner as well.

Besides, you will need cleaning tools and devices: at least 2 or 3 non-scratch sponges, a spray bottle, and plenty of clean microfiber cloths. This way, you will be able to cover different areas without using dirty towels that will only transfer dust and dirt across surfaces.

Finally, a vacuum cleaner and a steamer for removing heavy grease and grime would be ideal.  

You can check our Spring Cleaning Supplies Guide to get more ideas on basic cleaning agents, eco-friendly products, and other items and supplies.

Of course, all these supplies will depend upon the areas and the cleaning tasks that you will be covering for your Mother’s Day Cleaning. In this article, we will cover different areas and rooms so feel free to add or take them away what you need for your own home.

Related: What’s In Your Cleaning Caddy?

Cleaning Supplies - Emily's Maids

Organize the Pantry


The pantry can get messy more often than not, and sometimes you never seem to find the time to clean and organize it. If you want to give your pantry a fresh, clean look, you have many options.

You can take the fastest route and clean all surfaces. If they are wire shelves, it is highly likely that they look greasy or sticky. Hot, soapy water will be your ally here. You should use a sponge or a large brush, as well as a soft toothbrush for the sides and hard-to-reach corners.

The soap concentration should be higher or lower depending on how sticky they are. You can use concentrated liquid detergent for particularly tough areas. Don’t forget to wipe after 15 minutes.

If you have laminate shelves or cabinets, just hot, soapy water will do. Make sure you scrub with a non-scratch sponge, then wipe using a damp cloth, and then wipe again with a dry cloth this time. Let surfaces dry for at least 30 minutes.

On the other hand, if you have beautiful wooden shelves make sure you use very little water. As you know, humidity and wood do not get along. In this case, you should use two tbsps. of white vinegar, two tbsps. of mineral oil and one tbsp of lemon juice. All these ingredients will clean, moisturize and leave a fresh fragrance afterward.  

Besides just cleaning, by decluttering and organizing your ingredients you will be making a change.

You can order some pantry food containers with labels to give it a complete renovation. If you do, make sure you don’t go too crazy with it. Leave some space between each container and if they are open shelves, you can even place plants or herbs.

Organized Pantry with labels

Clean Hard-to-Reach Places


There are some areas that you overlook when cleaning your home because they might be hard to reach. For example, your ceiling fans (if you have any). They collect dust and might be hard to reach and clean, especially for a shorter woman.

In this case, you can use the old pillowcase trick: just stick each fan into an old pillowcase, and you can wipe it with a microfiber cloth or a large brush.

On a similar note, you should also take care of light fixtures. These fixtures often come with nooks and crannies that are not easy to reach, especially if you’re standing on a ladder. Because this is a light fixture, you should stay away from water and instead use a clean, long-bristled cleaning brush or, even better, a handheld vacuum cleaner.


Vacuum and Clean Your Floors


Floors are one of the most tiring surfaces to clean, because they absorb everything that falls down and, of course, are not easy to cover because you need to move around constantly. Besides, each type of floor has its unique cleaning steps, so this just adds more work.

Vacuuming and mopping your floors will create a huge impact on the cleanliness of the entire room and, if you read Part I and Part II of our essential oils cleaning guide, you know you can also add them to your cleaning solution and bring a fresh, calming vibe.

Besides floors, another item that you commonly overlook is baseboards. You should follow the same steps as you would do with a floor of the same material: hot soapy water for ceramic or porcelain, a specialized cleaning product for natural stone or hardwood.

If you have MDF or PVC or any other type of floor, it’s best to stick to vacuuming and wiping with a dry cloth, or just follow instructions from your manufacturer.


Take Care of Windows and Windowsills for Mother’s Day


Windows are cleaned much less often than recommended. With time, frames gather dust, and the glass looks dirty and dull. Fortunately, they’re really easy to clean! You just need to be quick and follow the steps methodically.

You can start with your windowsills. You’re going to need a vacuum cleaner, some hot soapy water, a degreaser that you can apply using a spray bottle, a sponge, a large brush, an old toothbrush for corners, as well as a microfiber cloth.

First, vacuum everything you can to remove debris and dust. Next, apply a bit of soapy water and scrub with your brush or a sponge. Then, apply the degreaser and scrub thoroughly using your brushes. Rinse and wipe every residue with your microfiber cloth.

Next, we have the glass panes. Outside windows are quite easy to clean because all they collect is dust and droplets. Everything you will need is a spray bottle with water (or a one-part water, one-part vinegar mix if your windows are really dirty) and two microfiber cloths.

You will use the first one only for wetting your window (or mirror). The second one is for drying. Start by folding your microfiber cloths until you can place them in the palm of your hand. Wet the first cloth and wipe following a “Z” pattern, and then repeat the steps using the drying cloth.

Scrubbing Windowsills with a sponge

Give Mom a Gift Certificate to a Professional Cleaning Service


All the tasks above are rewarding but certainly challenging and time-consuming. If you wish to enjoy this Mother’s Day with your family and make it a really special day, it’s actually quite common to hire a professional cleaning service.

This allows you to spend this day enjoying yourself with your family instead of cleaning and scrubbing all day long. And it’s also a nice surprise! Imagine seeing your mom’s or your SO’s face as they walk in to a clean, spotless home after going out for a nice lunch.

Research has shown time and again that cleanliness makes us happy, and this is even more noticeable after you created an entire special day for Mother’s Day.


Conclusion


Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and deep cleaning a home is an amazing gesture. It will take some pressure off their shoulders and make them feel comfortable in their clean, fresh home.

If you want to follow this guide, you will need around 3 to 4 hours to complete every step. You can shorten the total number of steps and rooms if you want to finish faster.

And if you have neither the time nor the energy and you want to spend it instead in a nice lunch or go out and do something fun, you can call our professional cleaning service in the greater Dallas area. We will take care of your home while you enjoy Mother’s Day with your loved ones.

We wish you the best Mothers’ Day ever!

10 Food Ingredients You Can Use for Cleaning (Part I)

April 26, 2022 by emilysmaids

10 Food Ingredients You Can Use For Cleaning Part I - Emily's Maids


Hello! We’re back with more cleaning tips for you, and today we wanted to talk about food ingredients as cleaning products. Who would’ve thought that mixing those too was going to be a good combo?

Well, the truth is that many food ingredients are used as compounds for your cleaning and personal care products. Those industries extract their desired component and put them in the formula to enhance their properties.

The good news is that you can use them straight from the source as well! Instead of using dozens of different manufactured cleaning products, you can switch to safer alternatives. They’re safe enough for you to eat!

This is why we’ve come up with a list of ingredients that are already in your fridge or your pantry and can be used for all sorts of cleaning purposes: sanitizing, degreasing, removing stains, and even moisturizing.

This is Part I so we’re going to discuss 5 amazing ingredients and then 5 more in our next article.


The Benefits of Using Food Ingredients for Cleaning


There’s a really high chance that you’ve heard about DIY cleaning solutions for your household that involve ingredients from your pantry or fridge.

If you’re using fruits and vegetables, this means that you are getting the cleaning properties straight from the source.

And if you’re using other ingredients, such as vinegar or olive oil, it means they passed strict laws and regulations to be safe enough to consume.

Manufactured cleaning products are safe enough, of course, but they can be harmful if they come into contact with your skin, eyes, or lungs. Besides, there’s the risk of leaving residues in your kitchen and eating area, which is the place where you prepare your food.

Now, let’s dive in!

Cleaning With Food Ingredients


Cleaning With Salt


Salt is one of the less-known ingredients for cleaning, but that might change once you realize how versatile it is. It does everything from cleaning a cast iron skillet to removing sweat stains.

Salt is great for cleaning because a) it’s abrasive, which means that is able to scrape off dirt and grease from surfaces, b) It has ionic qualities which are useful for absorbing moisture and oil, and c) you can mix it safely with a variety of cleaning products and other ingredients as well.

If you want to clean your cast iron skillet, use a couple of tablespoons of kosher salt and fill it halfway with water. Heat it over medium heat and scrape any residues as you go, using a wooden spoon so you won’t scratch the skillet. You can also use it straight and with a plastic scrubby, rubbing in a soft, circular motion.

Thanks to its absorbing properties, you can remove wine stains too using salt. To remove a stain, the first step is always blotting with a wet cloth several times until you absorb as much as you can. Next, add some table salt until you cover the stain and let it sit for a few hours or overnight if you are not in a hurry.

Check our cast iron skillet cleaning guide if you want to see how to clean it with other ingredients.

Salt goes great with lemon juice, too. Together they can degrease, remove odors and whiten your items. You can clean anything from teapots to cutting boards just by spreading some salt and then scrubbing with half of a lemon. Remember to rinse with plenty of water!

Or, you can use it for leaving your stainless steel sink looking nice and shiny. This time, you should add baking soda and soap until you form a paste. Scrub with a sponge and then open your water tap to remove any residue. You’ll notice the difference right away!

Cleaning With Kosher Salt and a Brush


Use Vodka as an All-Purpose Cleaner


Who would have thought that vodka can be used as more than an ingredient for making great cocktails? The truth is, we all know vodka has a strong alcohol concentration, which is ideal for killing different types of bacteria. The best part is that you can apply that on any surface without fearing that it contaminates or harms your food in any form.

This makes vodka the ideal ingredient for an all-purpose cleaner. It’s versatile enough to be used straight from the bottle (applied with a microfiber cloth) or combined with other items on a spray bottle. To create a powerful all-purpose solution, mix ½ cup of vodka, ½ cup of vinegar, 2 cups of water, and 30 drops of lemon essential oil. Add that to a spray bottle and apply it to your surface. Between the alcohol, vinegar (which is made out of alcohol), and lemon, you get a product with disinfecting and degreasing properties.

This works for a variety of surfaces such as your kitchen counters, your cutting boards, or mirrors and windows. It can also remove soap scum and mildew from your bathroom.

And don’t worry about brands, you can use the cheapest brand of vodka you can find for all your cleaning needs.


Lemon Juice Will Be Your #1 Cleaning Ally


Lemon juice is a powerful cleaning product. Like any other citrus fruit, it contains citric acid. It has two great cleaning properties: softening up grease and removing odors.

For example, you can use it to deodorize your microwave. Just squeeze half o a lemon and add it to a cup of water in a microwave-safe container. Run your microwave for 5 minutes and then let your cleaning mix sit for 2 more minutes. Then, wipe everything with a microfiber cloth.

Another great application of lemon juice is as a descaler. As we mentioned above, lemon juice works great with salt, and this is not the exception. With time, coffee makers and kettles start to build up limescale, which is created thanks to mineral residues of water. The frequency and amount of limescale will depend on how often you use your appliance, as well as the area you live in.

For example, Dallas is known to have really hard water, which means that it has a lot of minerals inside.

With salt and lemon juice you will be able to remove limescale in a second. Fill your kettle or the water reservoir of your coffee maker with ½ cup of lemon juice, and then fill the rest of it with cold water. Run a full cycle and then another cycle but this time using just water.

You can check our lime and salt article to check out how to remove stains. And don’t forget to check out Emily’s Maids Cleaning Guide using Lemon!

Cleaning With Lemon


Use Vinegar for Removing Stains and Odor


We have talked about vinegar as a cleaning product before, and it’s a must-have in your pantry. Vinegar is extremely affordable (less than $3 per gallon!) really safe to use and apply on pretty much any surface, and effective.

Your white cooking vinegar is made out of alcohol and it has a 5% concentration. This means it’s safe enough for you to consume, yet it has enough concentration to clean your surfaces and remove mildew in your bathroom, for example.

You can use vinegar for endless cleaning tasks. For example, you can use it as a substitute for fabric softener and deodorizer. Just add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. It will remove odors, lint, and pet hair.

If you need to remove limescale or hard water stains on your bathroom faucets, simply spray them with vinegar and then tie a bag around them overnight, using a Ziplock bag and a rubber bag. Remember to rinse with plenty of water afterward.

Like lemon juice, vinegar is great for removing stains, odor, and limescale from your kitchen tools and appliances as well. Just spray over the surface and scrub with a non-scratch sponge.


Coconut Oil


Besides a delicious ingredient for baking, coconut oil is also popular in the personal care and cleaning industry. Natural-sourced oils are usually great for removing labels and marks, moisturizing organic surfaces such as wood and leather, and as a lubricant for door hinges.

We all know how annoying it is to find half a sticky label from a dish or a flower pot. And if you scrub too hard, it becomes a huge scratch that no one likes to look at. But don’t worry, you can apply coconut oil using a microfiber cloth and rub softly to soften up your label. After a few minutes, scrub it off. You can add baking soda if you’re dealing with really rough sticky items.

It’s great for removing water stains on sinks and other appliances as well, use the same method! Remember to wipe everything out with a dry cloth afterward.

If you want to use it as a moisturizer, apply a tiny bit on the surface, such as your leather furniture or your wooden floors.

Coconut as Cleaning Product - Emily's Maids


Conclusion (Before Part II)


This is it! In this article, we have covered how to clean using salt, vodka, vinegar, lemon juice, and coconut oil. These are all safe ingredients that are already in your pantry, so you won’t have to move away from home to put them to good use.

Cleaning with food ingredients or with eco-friendly DIY solutions is more and more common nowadays because it makes your trips to the store easier, and it keeps harmful chemicals away from your household.

Make sure you stay alert for part II so you can learn how to use 5 more ingredients for your cleaning needs. And remember, we’re always happy to help busy families keep their households nice and clean. Make sure you visit Emily’s Maids booking page to get a free budget or contact us if you have any questions.

The Best Cleaning Supplies for Spring Cleaning

March 28, 2022 by emilysmaids

The Best Cleaning Supplies for Spring Cleaning - Emily's Maids


Springtime is officially now upon us! We’ve had a long winter in Dallas but a new season has come, finally, and what better way to celebrate than by setting up a deep, long spring cleaning?

Deep cleaning is customary (or at least it should be!) after each season, which makes it 4x a year. It’s a great way to renew your spirit and give a fresh, clean vibe to your home. Besides, it’s more than reasonable to deep clean your entire home once a quarter to make sure everything looks good and presentable.

Whenever you have a huge task ahead, it’s important to work smarter and not harder. Cleaning is not the exception. Many cleaning items can ensure you work faster and safer while still taking care of your pocket.

Here’s a guide for getting the best cleaning supplies for spring cleaning. Everything from cleaning gadgets to remove dirt and grease in the blink of an eye, and up to effective and harmless cleaning agents.

Once you learn how to choose your cleaning products, your spring cleaning will become easier and more pleasant. Let’s get started!


Basic Cleaning Agents


Let’s start with the must-have products that you should get before you start cleaning.

Buying in bulk is always better in the long run, especially if you like cleaning often. If that is not the case, you can always split the bill with friends, neighbors, or family members.

Baking Soda

Besides your must-have ingredient for desserts, baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a type of salt that is useful for many cleaning purposes, such as deodorizing, degreasing, and even killing mold.

The best part is that it can be combined with other cleaning products, such as vinegar and soap, and even with bleach!

Dish Soap

In this list, we also need to include a product that helps cut down grease and creates suds. Regular dish soap will work just great! The good thing about it is that you can choose the right concentration. It can be just straight from the bottle for a highly degreasing and cleaning action.

Or you can dilute it into water if you want to cover big surfaces or if you want to soak entire items into a bowl or a sink. By using hot water, you are combining the cleaning properties from soap and adding heat on top you are speeding up the process.

Vinegar

Vinegar is the most versatile cleaning agent you’ll find, probably. Its “formal” name is acetic acid, although it is usually diluted with a 5% concentration which is what we know as white cooking vinegar. It works for basically all rooms and surfaces with a few exceptions.

Vinegar is made from alcohol so it’s great for killing mold as well as many types of bacteria. If you check our guide about household chemical products, you won’t be surprised to find it there.

Even if it isn’t as aggressive as other types of acid, vinegar can still cause staining to some sensitive materials, mostly organic materials such as natural stone (gran6ite, marble, or quartz) as well as natural wood, such as hardwood floors.

You can read more cleaning solutions using vinegar here.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is the easiest, cheapest way of obtaining citric acid which is a powerful degreaser. It is no surprise that basically all dish detergents and some laundry detergents have citric acid as part of their ingredients.

You can find citric acid in powder as well, and it’s easier to store it without worrying about it going bad like you would with lemons.

Bulk Spring Cleaning items

 


Choosing Safe, Eco-Friendly, and Affordable Options for Spring Cleaning


Over the last years, you have probably seen more and more companies that offer green, natural, and/or environmentally friendly alternatives for many areas including cleaning. The good side is that there are many ways to choose healthier alternatives to the traditional, industrial options.

For example, you can try finding products that offer safer, more natural cleaning agents. Traditional manufactured brands tend to use chemicals that can be harmful to your body (skin contact, breathing, allergies).

Another good idea is to look for vegan, cruelty-free products. Many chemicals are tested on animals such as rabbits, monkeys, and guinea pigs. Cruelty-free products mean that they are never tested on animals, and vegan cleaning products are 100% plant and mineral-based.

You can also find products that offer plastic-free packaging. The U.S. is one of the most contaminating countries and this includes the use of plastic that ends up in the ocean. You will find options such as cardboard, kraft paper, glass, or biodegradable packaging.

Concentrated products are another great choice. This means that the item needs to be diluted into water, which you can do it at home in a second. Their packaging is less contaminating because you need less plastic for the same product, and this will make them more affordable in the long run.

Make sure you calculate how many times you can dilute them into water versus a regular cleaning product that is meant to be used undiluted.

Green Eco Friendly Cleaning Products


Multipurpose or Specialized Cleaning Products


Natural Stone Cleaners

Unfortunately, as mentioned above vinegar is not a great choice for natural stone cleaners. In this case, you should look for a specialized granite or marble cleaner.

If you don’t have any, you can use a tiny bit of mild dish soap with warm water, wiping several times to ensure you don’t leave any soap residues left.

Hardwood Cleaners and Conditioners

Natural products need certain conditions of temperature and humidity in order to stay healthy. For example, Dallas can reach humidity levels from as low as 50% and up to 90% on the same day! Highly unstable temperature and humidity mean that you should keep an eye on your wooden surfaces and furniture.

You can use teak oil or olive oil mixed with lemon juice as a natural conditioner, so keep it in mind if you plan on applying conditioner to your wooden surfaces.

Leather Conditioner

Same as wooden items, if you have leather furniture or upholstery and you see that it desperately needs some care, it’s best to buy a leather cleaner/conditioner. Fortunately, they are very cheap (as low as $5) and they last a long time since leather doesn’t need to be cleaned that often.

All-Purpose Cleaners

If you feel inspired by eco-friendly products now that you’ve read a bit more about them, the good news is that they usually offer all-purpose cleaners. You can buy them by gallon which is twice as good because you can recycle the gallon container. Some stores or brands can even refill or trade your (clean) empty containers and offer a discount.

They are safe to use on many different surfaces and can make your job easier since you don’t have to change between 10 different cleaning products.

Cleaning With All Purpose Cleaner


Items for Scrubbing, Wiping, and Rubbing


Microfiber Towels and Cloths

If you want to clean like a pro, switch to microfiber cloths instead of cotton ones. Microfiber works better than cotton because it absorbs more moisture and dirt.

Sponges

Besides your microfiber cloths, you will also need some sponges for scrubbing the grease and dirt away, especially in your kitchen. Non-scratch sponges will do for most surfaces, although you might want to get yourself some big yellow sponges.

For reaching nooks and crannies, find yourself an old toothbrush! It will help you give them a second use and they’re perfect for the job.

Squeegee

This is great for cleaning windows and mirrors and other glass surfaces. If you have really tall windows you might want to get yourself a squeegee with an extension pole.

Big Yellow Sponge for Scrubbing and Cleaning


Cleaning Gadgets to Improve Your Spring Cleaning


Power Scrubber

This is an incredible gadget. It is a bristle brush attachment for your power tool, similar to a toilet brush. It usually comes in a set of different shapes and sizes.

The goal here is to attach the head to the power tool and let it do all the heavy work with just the push of a button! It is especially helpful for cleaning tiles and grout because it really gets the grease and dirt out. The best part is that they are less than $10 per set!

Steamer

A steamer or steam cleaner is a device capable of generating steam, usually through a nozzle.

If you are thinking about investing in a steamer, you can check multi-purpose or 3-in-1 steamers, that work as wet vacuum cleaners, handheld steamers, and long-handled steamers.

Vacuum Cleaner

There are hundreds of vacuum cleaners in all shapes and sizes. It’s always a good idea to find items that are capable of achieving different purposes at the same time.

Similar to steamers, you can find models that are adaptable to different needs, going from a traditional vacuum cleaner to a hand vacuum, and even with attachments to clean upholstery.

You have a lot of price ranges as well, where you can find an adaptable vacuum cleaner for as low as $70. It is more than reasonable considering how much easier your spring cleaning will be if you have one of these.

Vacuum Cleaner


Don’t Forget About Safety When You Are Spring Cleaning!


Even if your chosen cleaning products are not harmful, you can’t ever be too sure. Remember you need to protect your skin, your eyes, and your nose (from breathing chemicals).

Make sure you bring latex cleaning gloves, a face mask, and safety goggles.

Always test your cleaning products in a small, inconspicuous area. Remember to let air flow in small spaces, especially if you are using strong chemicals such as those with bleach and ammonia.


Conclusion


If you’re thinking about spring cleaning soon, now you have all the tips and tricks for choosing your entire cleaning set. You are going to spend some time and energy here so it’s best to think exactly what you are getting.

There are many, many guides on the internet for spring cleaning. You can check the Spring Cleaning guide from Dallas Maids, for example. Make sure you visit a few of those and then create your own checklist. Remember, it’s not a perfect recipe and it’s also not about reaching every single area and surface, but more about keeping everything together as good as possible.

As mentioned above, remember you should deep clean your home at least 2 to 4 times a year. If you are buying all your items in bulk, it might be a good idea to distribute them in order to fit that schedule, including both spring cleaning and regular cleaning.

These tips will help you work faster and reduce the effort, but you need to keep and mind that spring cleaning will always demand a lot of time and energy, especially if you have a large home. Remember you can contact us to hire a professional service and forget about cleaning for endless hours.

Good luck and enjoy your spring cleaning!

Cleaning Kitchen Items: the Ultimate Guide

March 13, 2022 by emilysmaids

Cleaning Kitchen Items Emilys Maids


Kitchen tools and equipment represent a challenge when it’s time for cleaning and sanitizing. You find that they have residues of food and grease and it’s not fun to waste time and energy scrubbing them until you get rid of them.

Sanitizing is important when you are in direct contact with germs and bacteria. This counts pretty much for every single component in your kitchen, cookware, silverware, dishes, and even cleaning tools.

Let’s find out how you can do it!


Cleaning Your Kitchen: First Steps


Before starting to clean all your cookware, a good rule of thumb is to always leave your cleaning agents to act on the surfaces before doing anything. Hot water always helps whatever cleaning product you choose, whether its dishwashing soap, baking soda, vinegar or any other product.

Always use cleaning gloves to protect your skin from chemicals and friction when scrubbing hard.

As far as cleaning agents, there are many different opinions. Some people feel comfortable using industrial, manufactured kitchen cleaning products. Others prefer eco-friendly alternatives. Others like using “general” chemicals such as baking soda and vinegar.

This last option is a good happy medium because they are cheap, effective, and less contaminating than sprays or specialized cleaning products. Plus, you can use them to clean your entire kitchen without needing to buy 5 or 6 different products.

When looking for dish soap, make sure it contains a degreaser (it’s usually citric acid), a surfactant (e.g., coco glucoside) and a component for killing bacteria (e.g., tea tree oil).

Eco Friendly Dish Soap for Cleaning


Cleaning and Discarding Kitchen Sponges and Towels


First things first: what are you going to use to rub and scrub the food and grease away?

You have so many options! You can either stick to the traditional non-scratch kitchen sponge, or you can use many other tools such as silicone sponges or loofah sponges.

What many people don’t know is how often you should be discarding and cleaning kitchen sponges. According to research, you should discard them at least every 2 weeks. They have the perfect scenario for growing mold and bacteria: an organic source (food residues) and water.

You should clean them in the microwave (always find out if the material is safe to be placed in a microwave) and soak it in water before placing it in the microwave.

On a similar note, your kitchen towels need to be cleaned and disinfected constantly. First, soak them in a pot filled with half a gallon of water and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Place your towels for 15 minutes and then wash them in the washing machine with a hot water setting. Then, dry using again the highest temperature setting.

Make sure you place them in the dryer as soon as they get out of the washing machine. You don’t want them to stay moist because that’s where bacteria might have an opportunity to grow. You should do this at least once a week to keep them nice and fresh.

Once a month, place them in a large pot of boiling hot water for 5 minutes and add one to two tablespoons of baking soda to kill any remaining bacteria and remove odors.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Sponges and Towels


Pots and Pans


Pots and pans are one of the main sources of conflict here. If they are not good quality (or even if they are) sometimes food can burn and get stuck at the bottom. In the worst-case scenario, you get permanent “burns” and it starts to look awful.

Here’s how you can fix it:

If your cookware is stainless steel, the good news is that you can rub and scrub all you want. Soak your pots in hot, soapy water for 10 minutes and then scrub in a soft, circular motion. To remove odor, you can sprinkle baking soda or pour one or two teaspoons of vinegar in each pot.

If they are burnt, sprinkle baking soda on the burnt area and let it sit for 5 minutes. Grab a piece of steel wool and scrub and use it to scrub everything away. Wash with hot soapy water and then rinse to leave everything clean and shiny.

If they are enamel or iron-cast pans, make sure you don’t use metal sponges or that you don’t scrub too hard. In this case, it might be more helpful to boil water using baking soda or dishwashing soap and then wipe everything with a microfiber cloth.

Pro tip: Always use wooden spoons, and use your phone’s timer app to remember checking your stove once in a while!


Cleaning Kitchen Cutlery and Silverware


Sometimes it’s tricky to clean cutlery and silverware. If you don’t take care of them they will start looking dull and showing water spots. For cleaning your silver and stainless steel utensils, mix baking soda and dish soap until you form a paste.

Use a soft toothbrush or nylon scrubber in a soft, circular motion. Rinse with plenty of water and you will have squeaky clean utensils!

If you want a deep cleaning that removes streaks as well, you will need some tin foil and vinegar as well as more baking soda.

Just lay a sheet of tin foil in your sink, shiny side up. Place all your cutlery and silverware and sprinkle baking soda until they are covered. Then, add a cup of vinegar and see the magic! Vinegar and baking soda react when they come into contact, causing bubbles. It’s perfectly safe so there’s no need to worry. Once this happens, wait 5 minutes and pour boiling hot water to reactivate them. Scrub everything out with a soft brush to remove any residues and then rinse with plenty of water.

Pro tip: Beware of peanut (or any kind of nut) butter! They tend to stick really hard and it doesn’t come off in the dishwasher.

Cleaning Cutlery and Silverware


Doing the Dishes: Cleaning Smarter, Not Harder


Whether you are cleaning by hand or using the dishwasher, it’s important to take the time off to get rid of the worst. Using hot water will do 50% of the job. It helps to soften everything that has been stuck, especially greasy food. Use a rubber spatula or a non-scratch sponge. As mentioned above, give the dish soap some time to react. Dish detergents have a component called surfactants, which are the ones that separate grease from everything else.

If you leave your dishes in soapy water for 5 to 10 minutes, it will be much faster and easier to clean them.

Remember to tackle your dishes in the first 12 hours. After that, the food scraps will stick even harder because moisture will evaporate by that time. The only thing left will be hard, thick pieces of food that will demand extra energy to remove. Plus, by leaving dirty dishes for so long you might be attracting unwanted guests which is the last thing you want.

Related: How to Clean Major Appliances

Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Dishwasher


Dishwashers make our lives easier by removing the stress of scrubbing and rinsing dishes for hours. But sometimes, it needs some cleaning too! With time, it will gather food and grease residues. Most models come with two filters: a flat, mesh filter and then a cylinder filter underneath that one. They are both located at the bottom of the dishwasher.

The good news is that they can be cleaned usually with a few, simple ingredients. You will only need soapy water, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar and baking soda.

Where to start? You need to pay special attention to the filter because it’s where all the big residues are gathering with time. To clean your clogged drain filter, start by removing the screen filer and the cylindrical filter. With hot soapy water, remove all debris with the help of an old toothbrush. Scrub softly to avoid damaging the mesh.

Next, it’s time to clean the insides of the dishwasher. Because the residues are often stuck to the surfaces and they’re not quite visible, more like a layer, they need to be softened up beforehand.

Here’s where vinegar and baking soda come into consideration. To remove bacteria and mold, start by removing all racks. Mix half a cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of hot water. Use a spray bottle to apply this mix to all surfaces and then scrub using a large kitchen brush.

Clean your racks by placing them in hot water and then scrub carefully if you see any residues of grease or food. Rinse with plenty of water and put them back on your dishwasher.

Now it’s the time for the deep cleaning. Run two cycles with your dishwasher. For the first one, place one cup of white vinegar on the top rack. Choose the longest time and the hottest temperature setting. Vinegar will help to soften up everything that’s building up and it will fall naturally to the floor of the dishwasher.

For the second one, sprinkle baking soda on the dishwasher floor. Choose the highest temperature setting again, but this time with a short cycle. Scrub anything that you feel like won’t come out easily with an old toothbrush and voilĂ !

You should clean the gasket seal regularly too. Mold starts growing in wet, dark areas with high humidity. If you live in Dallas, you’ve probably seen that mold and mildew grow faster during winter. This is because the Sun isn’t up as much as during summer and humidity increases.

This is all around the dishwasher door and it’s what helps water stay inside it when it’s on. Just wipe all around the seal with a damp, microfiber cloth. Use your old toothbrush with soapy water to scrub everything out. Spray hydrogen peroxide and let dry. Hydrogen peroxide is able to clean mold on many different surfaces.

Cleaning and sanitizing dishwasher


Conclusion


There you have it! Now you have all the secrets for cleaning your kitchen cookware, from utensils to pans and pots and dishes. Even cleaning your dishwasher comes with its own instructions.

Remember to plan out your cleaning routine to ensure that you are working smarter and not harder. Soak as many items as possible in hot soapy water to avoid having to scrub for hours. Choose the best cleaning tools and replace them regularly to avoid mold and bacteria growth.

And as always, make sure you check our booking page if you want a professional cleaning staff to take care of your home.

List of Free and Useful Stuff Online

March 10, 2022 by emilysmaids

This is not the usual post about house cleaning tips or Emily’s Maids news. Rather, this is more a selfish reference post on some amazing and useful stuff that is available online that I can come back and use when needed.

  • Photopea is a completely free and online Photoshop clone. No installation needed. Opens and saves .psd files. Super useful. For more technical questions about Photopea, please visit the dedicated sub https://www.reddit.com/r/photopea/
  • remove.bg removes the background in any photo.
  • libgen.rs has any book you want for free.
  • Free Music Archive has a ton of royalty free music, and lists what kind of copyright license each one is under.
  • edx.org has free online classes from over 100 leading institutions worldwide. “As a mission-driven organization, we’re relentlessly pursuing our vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location.”
  • Bitwarden is a free password manager to manage multiple passwords.

For a more comprehensive list of free an useful stuff you can find online, click here.

9 Fruits and Vegetables That are Awesome for Cleaning

February 9, 2022 by emilysmaids

9 Fruits and Vegetables That Are Awesome For Cleaning - Emilys Maids


Fruits and vegetables are a fundamental part of our diet and believe it or not, also great for cleaning! As an ingredient, not only they’re filled with hundreds of nutrients, but they’re also delicious and can be used for any type of dish you can think of.

But beyond that, they’re also good as cleaning items. In fact, many of them are used as part of manufactured cleaning products, for areas as diverse as sanitizing, degreasing, and deodorizing.

This means that you can create your own DIY cleaning products that are effective, quick and cheap and, most importantly, safe to use around you and your family. You can even use different fruits and vegetables and mix them for better results. Of course, remember to try them first in a small, hidden area before going all in.

Without further ado, let’s find out 10 fruits and vegetables that also double up as cleaning agents!


Lemon: An All-Purpose Cleaner


Lemon is at the top of the list and they’re all good reasons. If you’ve read our guide about Cleaning With Essential Oils you already know what lemon is capable of. Lemon is also found in most cleaning products thanks to its degreasing properties. The active cleaning component in lemon and other citrus fruits is citric acid. Acidic compounds are common as cleaning agents because they’re able to remove stains and grease.

You can use both the peel and the juice for different purposes. For example, to remove odor and grime from your microwave you can use half a cup of water alongside 1 lemon cut in half. Place the bowl in the microwave and run it for 3 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes without opening the microwave to let all the steam loosen food junk.

Remove the bowl and the turntable and wipe everything out with a microfiber cloth. If necessary, damp your cloth in the lemon juice water mix and scrub your microwave to remove stubborn stains.

As always, try any DIY cleaning product, especially acidic elements such as lemon, in a small, inconspicuous place. Remember that natural stones (granite and marble for example) do not get along with acidic elements.

Lemon can be used for cleaning wood, too. If you mix two teaspoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice you will obtain a DIY cleaner that works as a disinfectant, stain remover and conditioner for your wooden surfaces. You can use apply it with a microfiber cloth, wiping the excess with a clean, fresh cloth.

You may also use lemon as a sink cleaner, by dipping half a lemon in salt you can remove rust stains in your sink area. The combination of citric acid and kosher salt will absorb the rust and your sink will look brand new. 

Using Lemon for Cleaning


Walnuts: a Quick Wood Polisher and Stain Remover


Walnuts are the fruits of a walnut tree. This is actually a surprising agent for many people. Perhaps because of its size or the fact that we don’t extract juice from it as easily as a lemon, for example. But the truth is that you can use it for wood polishing.

They’re delicious as a snack and now, you can try them as wood polisher! As we know, wood sometimes gets scratched and they don’t look pretty.

To fix this, simply peel one or two walnuts and scrub them onto the scratch you want to remove. With friction, walnuts will release oil that will “attach” to the surface and that will even out its color until it’s gone. Keep in mind this will only work for small to medium-sized scratches, but even if the scratch seems big to you, you don’t lose anything by trying!


Apple Cider Vinegar: The Best Floor Cleaner


Apples, or more specifically, apple cider vinegar, is a great cleaning agent. White distilled vinegar is a versatile cleaning agent, and apple cider is no different. They can be used interchangeably most times, with some exceptions. For example, light-colored leather is going to be cleaned more safely using white vinegar, while apple cider vinegar is safer to use with dark-colored leather.

Apple cider vinegar can be combined with other cleaning products to create an effective cleaning mix.

It can be used straight or diluted with water, too. For example, you can use it for cleaning wooden and ceramic floors.

Using Apple For Cleaning


Orange Peels: A Different All-Purpose Cleaner


Like lemon, oranges are popular as a cleaning agent. Many cleaning products come with an orange scent if you think about it.

The best part is that you can use orange peels instead of throwing them away, so you really get to use every part of the orange.

It’s super quick and easy to prepare! It will take some time for the mix to “settle” down, though. You will just need a large mason jar and some vinegar, as well as a glass spray bottle. Just fill the mason jar (at least) halfway with orange peels, and fill the rest with either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

Close the lid and let it sit for 2 weeks. The vinegar will extract oil from the oranges which will add to its cleaning power and fragrance. After at least 2 weeks, strain the vinegar using a fine-mesh sieve. Do this until you remove all orange peels and dilute your vinegar/orange mix with equal amounts of water before placing it on a spray bottle.

Remember to store it in a dark, cool place before straining out the peels. You can add a few drops of rosemary essential oil which work great with vinegar and will add extra fragrance.

Using Orange For Cleaning


Cucumber: The Ultimate Steel Polish


You’ve probably heard about cucumber as a great ingredient for salads, but also great for skin care. And now, you can use them as a DIY cleaning product too!

Cucumber is full of vitamins and minerals and it can work for removing tarnish from stainless steel. Just grab a slice of a cucumber and rub it against the stainless steel surface. You can use this for cleaning appliances, for example. Remember to follow the direction of the grain whenever you’re cleaning stainless steel.


Grapefruit: A Cookware And Appliance Degreaser


Just like lemon and oranges, grapefruit is used constantly as a cleaning product or scent.

Grapefruit can be used for restoring your cookware. Just grab a grapefruit, cut it in half and rub it over your pots or pans. Wipe with a dry washcloth and it will look nice and shiny. You can remove mold and mildew with it, too.

Just mix one cup of vinegar, ½ cup of sodium borate powder (borax) and ½ cup of grapefruit juice. Here you’re combining sanitizing, anti-bacterial and degreasing properties into a single spray bottle. Just apply and wipe away after 15 minutes with a clean sponge.

Similar to lemon, you can also dip half a grapefruit and dip it into salt. This will lift grease from fixtures and appliances. It is especially helpful for your oven, and you can replace the conventional oven cleaner which is full of harmful chemicals. This trick will remove grease and offer a pleasant citrus fragrance.

Grapefruit for Cleaning


Banana: A Multi-Purpose Cleaner and Polish


If you don’t have walnuts, you can use a much cheaper alternative: banana peels! This will be able to remove dust and shine wooden surfaces. 

If you have overripe bananas, instead of throwing them out you can use them as wood polish. You just need to take the peel off and scrub the banana against the surface. After 10 minutes, you can wipe it out with a microfiber cloth. Your wooden furniture will look nice and shiny.


Potato: Say Goodbye to Rusty Silver and Iron


Who would’ve thought that potatoes are good for cleaning?! Well, the truth is that potatoes contain something called oxalic acid, which is capable of removing rust from silver and iron cookware. They can get rusty because of different reasons. One of them is just by using them or, more exactly, washing them. With time, water will cause them to rust.

On a similar note, if you leave them soaked in water for too long, it will speed up the process. Another common cause is the place you live, because this sets the humidity levels for that place. For example, if you live in Dallas, you might have high levels of humidity on certain times of the year, which means that the air carries more water particles. You tend to find rusty appliances and cookware near places with high humidity.

If you have an iron cast skillet or a silver pan that is looking tarnished or rusty, you can cut a potato in half and dip the cut end in baking soda (just like you would with lemon or grapefruit and salt) and rub it against the rusty areas. You might want to slice it off a bit once the cut end of the potato gets slick or slimy, and repeat the process until you remove the rust. Remember to wipe with a microfiber cloth and let it dry. 

If you broke a glass or a mug, you might have trouble collecting shards of glass. In this case, a potato can save your day! Just take half a raw potato and run it over the glass shards. Don’t forget to use thick safety gloves.


Garlic: Keep Your Toilet Spotless


What is garlic in the first place? Well, the truth is that garlic is in fact a vegetable, which belongs to the onion family.

You might not think of garlic as an ingredient that can be related to cleaning. Even though it is a must-have ingredient for the most essential food recipes you can think of, its smell and taste is not traditionally related to something “fresh” or “sanitized”.

Garlic has been proven to have antimicrobial properties thanks to a compound called Allicin, according to research. And what better way to use this than to clean your toilet?

For obvious reasons, toilets are constantly filled with bacteria, and they are one of the fixtures that require the most attention.

Here’s how you can make good use of garlic: crush one medium-sized clove or two small cloves of garlic and leave them in the toilet right before you go to sleep. You usually don’t use your toilet after you’ve gone to sleep so there’s a big time window for garlic to act upon the surface. When you wake up just flush the toilet and the garlic will be gone.

The second strategy requires just a little bit more effort. But don’t worry, it’s super fast and easy! It consists of preparing garlic tea. Bring one cup of water to a boil in a pan. Peel and mince 3 cloves of garlic and place them on your pan.

Using Garlic For Cleaning


Conclusion


There you have it! You have probably heard of these fruits and vegetables as cleaning products previously, but a few of them might’ve caught you by surprise!

As always, remember to test your DIY cleaning solutions on a small, hidden area first. And if you prefer to stick to the basics, you can always hire a professional cleaning service for taking care of your home.

The Best Essential Oils for Cleaning Your Home (Part II)

January 14, 2022 by emilysmaids

The Best Essential Oils for Cleaning Emilys Maids


Hello! We’re back with Part II of our previous article: The Best Essential Oils for Cleaning Your Home.

There’s still a lot to unpack about essential oils! There are so many of them with individual properties, many of them related to cleaning and wellbeing.

Last time, we discussed what are essential oils and we talked about four of them: lemon, lavender, tea tree and peppermint. Now, keep reading to find out even more essential oils and how to use them for cleaning.


Essential Oils: A Quick Recap


In our previous article, we mentioned the meaning of essential oils and their properties. Just as a quick recap, it’s worth mentioning that essential oils come from either organic or synthetic sources, and that organic essential oils preserve many natural properties from fruits or plants, including cleaning, degreasing, sanitizing and relaxing properties. They’re also safe to use on most surfaces and materials, which is important to preserve your belongings.

There are endless options that you can mix and match. You already read the benefits of 4 types of essential oils: lemon, lavender, tea tree and peppermint. Now we have 6 more types to talk about: Eucalyptus, Pine, Wild Orange, Thieves, Cedarwood and Grapefruit.

Essential Oils for Cleaning Quick Recap


Eucalyptus Essential Oil


Eucalyptus is a plant native to Australia. You might know them for being the main source of food for koalas. It is heavily used in the personal care industry, in everything from face scrubs to toothpaste and, of course, cleaning.

Here are some examples of eucalyptus as a cleaning agent:

You can use it as a fabric freshener, not only to give your clothes a rich, pleasant fragrance but also to remove microbes. You can use it when doing laundry: during your washing cycle, add about 10 drops with your detergent.

Warning: like many other essential oils, eucalyptus is not safe for pets, especially for cats. Keep that in mind if you’re a pet owner. And, of course, you shouldn’t ingest it either.

It is also a great bathroom cleaner, especially for the shower because it helps removing scum. Just add a few drops in a spray bottle, with a cup of hot water.

Before leaving your bathroom, take the opportunity to clean your brushes too! The recipe is actually very similar: place in a mason jar half cup of distilled white vinegar, one and a half cups of water and 20 drops of eucalyptus oil. your glass jar should be big enough to fit all your combs and hairbrushes, so you can soak them for 20 minutes and then rinse them with plenty of water.

Read more: How to Clean Your Bathroom Step by Step

Eucalyptus Essential Oil


Pine Essential Oil


Pine oil is extracted from pine tree needles and it comes with a handful of properties. Besides its refreshing and uplifting smell, it’s often used for medicine and aromatherapy. It is also very popular as a deodorizer, that’s why pine fragrance is one of the most common to find in every household.

Talking about deodorizing, you can use it as an air freshener by using an oil diffuser with a few drops of pine oil, about 2-3. Let it run for 30 minutes: the air will smell great and your nasal/sinus congestion will be cleared.

You can use pine oil for removing that unpleasant smell from your trash cans.

Pine oil is also useful as a furniture and upholstery cleaner. You just need to add 10 drops of pine essential oil and one tablespoon of liquid castile soap to 1 ½ cups of warm water, mixing everything out in a spray bottle and applying it on the surface. Use with either a mop or a microfiber cloth, depending on the surface.

Remember to dust and vacuum before using the cleaner, and to shake well before each use.

If you want more advice on how to clean your couch, you can read our entire guide here.

Pine Essential Oil


Wild Orange Essential Oil


Wild Orange oil comes from the rind of wild oranges and, as you can imagine, citrus essential oils such as lime, lemon and wild orange bring a fruity, fresh scent.

Mix a ÂĽ cup of olive oil and 10 drops of wild orange essential oil. Nothing works better for wooden furniture than a fresh, citrus scent.

Similar to pine oil, you can add 3 to 4 drops to a diffuser. It is ideal during cold and flu season because, as you know, citrus fruits boost our immune system, according to research.

Related: 10 Creative Ways to Use Lemon for Cleaning

Wild Orange Essential Oil


Thieves Essential Oil


Thieves oil is one of the few oils that is not extracted from a single plant or fruit. In fact, it is a blend of different essential oils; mostly cinnamon, cloves, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary. Thanks to this, not only it offers an incredible fragrance, but it also combines properties from these five components; being able to relieve congestion, manage stress and purify the air. You may know it as Guardian oil or Health Shield oil, too

Thieves oil can make a great all-purpose cleaner when mixed with castile soap, similar to pine oil.

First, you need to create your thieves’ oil. Grab cinnamon, cloves, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary essential oils and mix 10 drops of each into a small glass container.

Now, for your DIY cleaner, you’ll need castile soap, witch hazel and a bit of distilled or filtered water, as well as a glass spray bottle as a container. Place 2 tablespoons of castile soap and 1 tablespoon of witch hazel into your spray bottle using a funnel. With a dropper, add 20 drops of thieves oil.

Fill the rest of the container with water and shake well before each use. You can add 15 drops of lemon essential oil to increase its degreasing power. There you have it! An easy, cheap and chemical-free cleaner.


Cedarwood Essential Oil


Cedarwood oil comes from several types of cedar trees. In fact, it can come from Texas cedar trees. As you can imagine, it has a woodsy, earthy fragrance. It is an excellent odor neutralizer.

You can use it to remove unpleasant odors from your trash can. Just add a few drops to a cotton ball and place it at the bottom.

Of course, it’s only natural to think of cedarwood as a floor cleaner, especially if you have hardwood floors. You can create your very own floor cleaner with ½ cup white of distilled vinegar and ½ teaspoon of cedarwood oil. Just pour them into a bucket filled with 1 gallon of warm water and use a mop for cleaning your floors after sweeping and vacuuming. As always, test first on a small, inconspicuous area before doing your entire floor.

This is also a great flea & tick spray killer for dogs! Cedarwood is one of the few oils that are safe to use on dogs (even though they might find the smell a bit overwhelming), as long as they’re properly diluted. Just add about 3-5 drops and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. Shake well and apply to your dog’s coat. Always consult your vet before applying anything to your pets.

Cedarwood Essential Oil


Grapefruit Essential Oil


Grapefruit oil also offers antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Similar to Wild Orange oil, it is extracted from the peels of grapefruit.

You can use this for cleaning your bathtub and shower. Mix one cup of baking soda and ½ teaspoon of grapefruit oil. Rinse your tub and shower and sprinkle your grapefruit cleaning mix. You already know that baking soda is perfect for combining with many other cleaning agents and it comes with deodorizing and degreasing power.

Don’t leave your bathroom yet! You can mix 5 drops of Grapefruit essential oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle to clean your bathroom surfaces.

Grapefruit Essential Oil and Diffuser


Mix and Match for Better Results


As you know, essential oils are perfect for mix and match. The combination of scents and properties will make you feel great when using them.

For example, pine and orange go great together because they combine the refreshing smell of citrus with a more woodsy, rocky scent. You can add 3 drops of each to an air diffuser and enjoy clean, purified air.

Or you can blend pine, cedarwood and eucalyptus for an incredible combination to use on your wooden furniture. Just imagine the scent it will provide to your bookshelves and nightstands.

And, if you want to try the cedarwood wood floor cleaner, you can use 25 drops of grapefruit oil and 25 drops of cedarwood to add a brand-new scent to your floors.

Remember that, even though you should use glass bottles for storing them, it’s okay to use plastic spray bottles if you’re diluting them in water or other cleaning agents. Always test your DIY cleaning solutions in a small area first and, if you have pets, check if your desired essential oils are safe to use around them.

Mix and Match Essential Oils for Cleaning


Conclusion


There you have it! Even more essential oils with cleaning properties for you to enjoy. Make sure you visit our previous article about essential oils as well, and feel free to mix them with the ones mentioned in this article! After all, essential oils are ideal for blending with infinite possibilities according to your needs.

Not only that, but they are also safe to combine with other cleaning agents such as baking soda and castile soap, offering effective but harmless and chemical-free cleaning solutions.

And even though it’s fun to mix and try as many essential oils as you can, the actual cleaning process might be exhausting or time-consuming. Remember you can always hire a cleaning service to take care of your household while you spend quality time with your loved ones.

Cleaning and Decluttering for the Holidays: An Easy Guide

December 25, 2021 by emilysmaids

Cleaning and Declutering for the holidays an easy guide - Emily's Maids


The holiday season is here! This is an amazing opportunity to start the new year with the right foot, and what better way than by cleaning and decluttering your home?

If you’ve kept your home cleaned and organized throughout the entire year, you probably have a very organized cleaning/decluttering system by now. However, things tend to go a little crazy during Christmas and new year’s eve.

And if you don’t plan on hiring a professional cleaning service, you can put your effort during this time of the year into keeping up with your cleaning and organizing. A good way to motivate yourself is to think of the results: it might take you some effort and time, but by the end your home will be nice and clean and you’ll get to keep your most appreciated and useful belongings.

So, without further ado, let’s start our holiday cleaning and decluttering time!


One Side of the Coin: Decluttering and Organizing


If you’ve read our article about Organizing vs Cleaning, you already know by now that both of them are super important for keeping your home nice and tidy and also to improve your wellbeing.

They’re two sides to the same coin. A house with too much stuff can become overwhelming because no matter what you do, there’s always something out of place. For having an organized home, it is recommended to have a designated place for everything. That becomes harder and harder with more items.

The question is: how much stuff is “too much stuff”?

According to the L.A. Times, there are 300,000 items in the average American home. There’s no easy way to say how many items are in your home, or what even constitutes an “item”, but what we do have to consider is that it’s not unusual to continue buying stuff, but we don’t get rid of old stuff as fast.

A good rule of thumb is to think about everything you haven’t used for over 6 months. Maybe it’s just not worth the space that is occupying right now at home. Nothing should sit in your home long enough to collect dust, for example.

This is easier said than done, of course! It’s hard because not only it is a long, time-consuming process, but it is also attached to getting rid of sentimental items, fighting nostalgia and over-attachment.

This is why you should follow a system, a method that’s been proven to be effective. There are many organizing and decluttering methods, such as the konmari method by Marie Kondo or the 20-minute method.

You can always adapt them to your personal circumstances, but try to stick to the original methods as much as possible so they can work properly.

Decluttering and Organizing


The Other Side of the Coin: Cleaning


The other side of the coin is cleaning, of course. Even if you manage to reduce the amount of stuff you have, they still need to be cleaned. The worst part is, unlike organizing, you also need to clean floors, walls, windows and other “permanent” items at home.

By now, we all know how important is to keep our home clean and sanitized.

On top of that, you have the holiday season and are probably expecting guests. You already know there’s going to be a lot of cleaning involved so your home can look nice and clean and your guests feel comfortable and have a great time.

With that in mind, it’s always best to organize/declutter and then clean. This is because you’re probably getting rid of a lot of stuff, that won’t even need to be cleaned in the first place. Once everything is in its right place, it will be easier to clean everything out.

Cleaning Supplies - Emily's Maids


How to start Organizing and Decluttering for the Holidays


December and January are a good opportunity for decluttering your home. Maybe you have a couple days off from work and you can take this chance to go through what needs to be organized and decluttered (besides spending quality time with your family, of course!).

Also, because this is a particular time, you might need a special approach in order to keep your guest bedroom empty and adapted to your guests for the holidays, for example. Consider you might need to have “extra” items such as seating chairs or tableware, which are otherwise stored during the year.

Keeping in mind everything that your guests will need to make themselves at home, it’s time to start with organizing!

You can follow any methods you’d prefer. It’s best that you do research and even try them in a small space first. You can also mix and match if that’s what works for you.

Depending on the method you prefer, you would organize everything by category (clothing, paperwork, sentimental items, etc.) or by room (kitchen, living room, bedroom, etc.).

For sentimental items, you should do this on your own, unless it’s shared with other family members. This is because if we’ve decided to get rid of something that no longer brings us joy (either by donating, recycling or discarding), it is extremely likely that someone else jumps in and stops us from doing that (again, as long as they’re only sentimental to you).

However, non-sentimental items can become part of a shared activity with family members. Grown adults can take care of common areas(kitchen and living room) as well as documents and paperwork, while kids can organize and declutter their belongings (such as toys and clothing).


Where to Start the Holiday Organizing and Decluttering?


This question is more than valid. Because there’s so much to do, you might not know where to start since everything’s important. Also, this might take you more time than expected so you can never be too sure that you’ll do every single room of your home.

If you’re expecting guests, you might want to start there. Remember to take out your holiday décor and garments, as well as everything your guests will need (extra blankets, bedding, additional seating, toiletries, etc.) and leave enough space in the guest bedroom’s closet and bathroom (if any).

Next, we have public areas. These are important on different levels: if you or your guest are planning on cooking a lot, you need your kitchen to be organized and decluttered so that the cooking process goes by smoothly and efficiently.

Up next is your bathroom and laundry area. Remove any expired or empty cleaning products and refill any personal care items such as shampoo and hand soap.

Don’t forget about your office and paperwork! We tend to save receipts and warranty documents that are no longer useful, and many of them can be saved in a digital format, thus reducing the physical space that they require.

Last but not least, your bedrooms. You can remove any clothing that doesn’t fit you anymore and decide whether you want it to donate, discard or recycle.


Next Step: Cleaning for the Holidays


Now, cleaning for the holidays is very similar to a regular cleaning process. Remember to break this into smaller steps if you want to succeed and keep yourself

You do need to consider some “extra” cleaning tasks, such as cleaning inside cabinets and drawers, mopping and vacuuming your furniture, and giving your guest bedroom and bathroom a good rundown.

In the kitchen, pay special attention to the fridge and appliances such as the oven and the microwave. Clean them inside out

In the living area, remember to vacuum and/or wash your furniture, including your throw pillows and throw blankets. Clean every single knickknack that you have as well.

Your bathrooms deserve a good rundown, too! Because this is more of a deep cleaning, you should pay extra attention to the mirrors, your fixtures and any other items such as sink cabinets and toiletries, as well as doorframes and doorknobs. Spray down the shower screen or wash your shower curtains to avoid mold and soap scum stains.

Deodorize and ventilate properly your closet. You can use coffee grounds or chalk and save it in a glass jar with holes on the lids, to remove the typical “musky” closet odor.

Don’t forget to clean upper and lower corners between walls and the floor or the ceiling. They are often overlooked when cleaning. You can give it a nice “Christmas” touch by using a special fragrance when mopping your floors, for example.

Cleaning Bottles

 


How to Keep a Schedule / Checklist for Holiday Cleaning and Organizing


Because this is a lot of work, it can become overwhelming and you might not have that much time available. Between running errands, preparing your Christmas and New Year’s Eve meals and enjoying time with friends and family, you have very little time.

Whenever you have a big assignment or task,  it’s a good idea to split this into smaller tasks. It will give you a sense of achievement once you start checking things off of your list. Plus, it will be easier to accomplish everything when it’s written down, because a) you won’t have to remember everything you need to do and b) the plan is already set and you just need to follow it.

Organizing Agenda

 


Conclusion


There you have it! Start as soon as possible with your decluttering and organizing, and end things up with a nice deep cleaning.

Before doing so, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to spend this time with your loved ones. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

Our Two Newest Dallas Cleaning Artists Need Work!

December 7, 2021 by emilysmaids

Hey!

Here’s the deal. Silvia and Jenny are our newest cleaning artists. This team has proven themselves in training and are now in need of work! They have openings this Thursday and Friday only, Dec 9th and 10th.

They are not only hard workers, they’re good people. I need to take care of talent like this. So, I’m offering you a special deal for service booked for this week only.

Get $100 OFF by ordering $400 or more in house cleaning.

Get $50 OFF by ordering $200 – $399.

Get $25 OFF by ordering $100 – $199.

 

Emily's Maids logo and phone numberAnd let’s sweeten the deal…

If you schedule Silvia and Jenny for bi-weekly or weekly service, you will get an additional 5% OFF Weekly or Bi-weekly Service For LIFE!! That’s on top of our already discounted rates of 20% (weekly) and 15% (bi-weekly).

CALL (214) 556-6243 or email service@emilysmaids.com, mentioning this email while reserving a spot. This deal is not available when booking online.

This deal is available for any of our cleans:
Standard Cleaning
Deep Cleaning
Move Out Cleaning

You’ll love the work done by this cleaning duo. So reserve your spot before their schedule fills up.

Thank you for giving us a chance to serve you!

~ Emily’s Maids Happiness Team
(214) 556-MAID
www.emilysmaids.com

 

* Only available if you schedule team Silvia and Jenny.
* Special is only for service scheduled December 9th and 10th, 2022.
* Only 6 spots left so order now!

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, ÂĽ 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.

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