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4th of July Countdown: Cleaning Tips Before Your Party

July 1, 2022 by emilysmaids

4th of July Countdown Cleaning Tips Before Your Party - Emily's Maids

Hey guys! We’re back with another article and this time we wanted to talk about 4th of July coming VERY soon and give you some cleaning tips before your party.

Before we continue with our “How to Clean Your Floors” guide, we wanted to quickly address this very important festivity.

We all know how special 4th of July is and you are probably expecting friends and family to visit. And of course, you want to impress them and make them feel at home. Besides, we all know it is important that our home is clean, sanitized and safe for our guests.

Here’s what you can do!

Define The Areas You Will Clean

We absolutely understand that you have a busy life. Between work, family and running errands, you only have less than a week before the 4th of July.

Of course, if you are in the Dallas Fort-Worth Area you can always hire our cleaning service. But if you are doing this on your own, it will be hard and unrealistic to try cleaning your entire home.

Instead, start by just thinking and writing down your priorities when it comes to cleaning.

Are you planning on a barbeque out in your backyard? If that’s the case, then your focus will be your backyard.

Maybe you have a nice kitchen and you want to entertain your guests while cooking something delicious? Then make sure your kitchen & dining area will be spotless.

Or, if you have more of a relaxed plan, you can just focus on getting the living and TV room ready for a movie night.

Besides this, you might even come up with other considerations, for example: are immunocompromised people coming to the party? Maybe someone that is allergic to strong fragrances? Keep that in mind when deciding what cleaning products are you going to use, whether you need to actually disinfect areas or just wipe them clean, etc.

Grab Your Cleaning Supplies

Of course, you can’t clean unless you have all your cleaning supplies at hand! Depending on the tasks you’re deciding on cleaning, you will need some cleaning products and tools. On the next chapters you will read about our suggested tasks and areas.

Just as a little heads up, you will need a regular vacuum with a brush attachment (and if you have an extra handheld vacuum, even better!) and a DIY all-purpose solution. This could be an equal-parts white vinegar and water solution, or a hot, soapy water solution made with mild dish soap for sensitive surfaces (granite, marble, quartz or wood).

You will need two or three different-sized cleaning brushes, microfiber cloths, a wire brush, a broom and mop, and a pressure washer if you have one.

Depending on the time and energy that you have available, you will discard (or not) some of these tasks, and therefore not all tools above will be essential, so if you don’t have one, don’t worry! Make sure it won’t be necessary for the tasks you’re planning before 4th of July.

Grabbing kitchen supplies - Emily's Maids

Start With the Essentials

Now that you know what areas you will focus on, it’s a good time to start with the essentials, which are the most common areas or surfaces that your guests will notice or use during their visit.

These areas are the ones that will make your home look clean overall, as a whole, instead of just small areas here and there.

For example, floors. Even if you’ve cleaned up your backyard, if your floors are dirty and messy, your entire home will look and feel that way. That’s why you should at least sweep your floors quickly and, if possible, vacuum them as well.

Even if you decided that your guess will not be anywhere near your kitchen, you never know for sure, so it’s best to give it at least a quick rinse and wipe here and there.

Wipe and declutter your countertops and place all your dirty dishware and cookware in your sink or your dishwasher and take out the trash. It won’t take you longer than 5 or 10 minutes and it will cause a huge positive impact in your kitchen straight away.

Your guest bathroom is another area that you must clean, especially if there are several guests. There are extremely high chances that at least one of them will have to use your bathroom during your visit, even if it’s just to freshen up or wash their hands.

Try to take care of the quality of the air, especially if you have pets. We get used to the smell of our home, but visitors will quickly detect when pets are around. If you have the time, make sure you mop your floors and don’t forget to use a floor deodorizer, especially one formulated for pet odors. Use your air purifier if you have one, too.

Wiping Kitchen Clean - Emily's Maids

Clean Your Defined Areas

Now that you took care of all the essential areas and surfaces, it’s time to go into the areas where your guests will hang out.

When you’re going through each area, think of yourself as a guest and spend 10 or 15 minutes in each area, until you realize what is out of place or needs cleaning. Does your dining table have little crumbs or stains? Does the grill look greasy and with food crumbs or burn marks?

Keep this in mind and you will quickly notice what needs to be cleaned.

If you’re short on time, it’s really important to keep a balance between “essential” areas, and your “defined areas” so that they can enjoy their visit as a whole.

Another important step is to take care of the heaviest cleaning duties first and leave the finishing touches for the same day or the previous day. The last thing you want to do that day is heavy-duty cleaning, because you will be too stressed out and busy that day, and you will end up exhausted and without any energy to entertain your guests.

Tired after cleaning - Emily's Maids

Clean Your Backyard and Outdoors

For 4th of July is highly likely you will spend some time in your backyard. That being said, it can be a bit confusing to know where to start.

If you do have a deck or any floor with wooden planks, it might be a good time to clean it down with a pressure washer. Make sure you don’t go overboard, sweep the nozzle at a slight angle and about 8 inches from the surface. Of course, this should be planned out with time because it might take some time for it to dry. The same goes for mowing your lawn.

Second, check your outdoor furniture to make sure it’s working fine and that it doesn’t need any cleaning. For surfaces where you will eat (tables, countertops) clean them nonetheless just to ensure they are clean and sanitized.

A one-part white vinegar, one-part water mix is usually a great solution because it’s affordable and effective. However, keep in mind that natural stone surfaces do not get along with vinegar or abrasive products in general. Some materials such as granite or marble are safer if you clean them with hot, soapy water.

Don’t Forget About Your Entryway

Your entryway, for obvious reasons, is the first impression your guests will have about your home. It’s always a good idea to sweep your entrance, at the very least. If possible, mop your floors and when you are doing it, spray some deodorizer or add a few drops of essential oil to your mop water.

Your guests will immediately notice a pleasant smell and will associate it with your home being clean.

Clean the cobwebs, light fixtures and your entrance door, of course. If you have rugs or mats, take them outside to shake them clean. If you have an upholstery cleaner, you can quickly run your cleaner through your rugs.

Besides this, you might want to add a small decoration piece, but that’s completely up to you.

Sweeping Entryway Deck Floor - Emily's Maids

4TH of July Checklist

By now you should have a more or less clear plan of what you are going to clean before 4th of July.

However, to make it so much easier to keep track of the cleaning task and areas, we wanted to create a checklist that you can print and follow easily.

You can even save in your documents for similar festivities in the future! We will make sure to leave some empty lines for you to fill out with any other tasks you deem necessary.

4th of July Cleaning Checklist


Now that 4th of July is coming so soon, you have all the tools and techniques to get your home ready and impress your guests.

And if you are having a busy weekend and you need some help to leave your home nice and shiny, you can always visit our booking page to learn more about our cleaning services in the Dallas- Fort Worth Area.

As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We hope you have the best 4th of July and enjoy with your friends and family!

How to Clean Your Floors: 5 Tools to Make it Easier

June 20, 2022 by emilysmaids

We know how hard it is to clean your floors because the minute you turn around, they’re dirty again. Fortunately, now you have so many techniques, products and equipment to clean your floors.

This is why Emily’s Maids wants to create a series called How to Clean Your Floors, where we will focus on digging deep down on how to clean floors and all the resources you have available.

Before we start, you might be asking, why should I keep my floors clean?

Let’s learn a bit from floors and what happens when you don’t clean them often and then we will jump into Part I of our series.

Why Should You Clean Your Floors?

No matter the type of floor you have, it’s really one of the most important areas to keep track of when you’re cleaning your home.

Floors go through several “challenges”. Obviously, the most common and frequent one is people walking. Depending on the type of footwear and the floor’s material, it can speed up the floor’s aging noticeably.

Heels, for example, are notoriously harmful to hardwood floors, although it is (fortunately) quite uncommon to use heels at home.

Second, they “catch” all pieces of dirt, dust and crumbs from everything that is happening on top. Just think about every surface on your house: furniture, shelves, kitchen countertops, sofas and chairs, and so on. Maybe some food falls to the floor, or a liquid spill out.

Third, smaller elements also end up in your floors. For example, bacteria and germs floating around the air from many natural, everyday actions. Talking, sneezing, your dogs and cats walking around.

Second, the type of flooring plays a very important role in their care and longevity. Technology has allowed us to develop many types of materials, both natural and synthetic. Natural-based materials such as hardwood and granite are very popular and gorgeous. However, humidity and temperature do affect them.

States such as Dallas show up to 40% increases or decreases in humidity on the very same day. This doesn’t mean your floors won’t last, it just means you need to take extra care of your floors.

Now, let’s hear from 5 tools to help you clean your floors faster and better, as well as some tips to choose them.

Related: The Best Cleaning Supplies for Spring Cleaning

Start With a Good Vacuum

A good vacuum cleaner is an absolute must-have in every household. That’s one of the pros of having one: you can put them to good use even if you have 3 or 4 different types of flooring.

Vacuuming is an effective cleaning method for several reasons. First, it reduces the physical effort you need to make every time you clean, because you just need to move your vacuum without scrubbing or brushing, the way you would with a broom, for example.

Second, vacuums have something called HEPA filter. It is a filter capable of removing more than 99% of airborne particles which are considered harmful such as dust, mold, bacteria and pollen.

If you feel constantly about to sneeze or with other allergy symptoms (maybe a skin rash, congestion, headache) then it might have to do with the fact that your floors collect a lot of allergens that your current tools cannot remove (regular brooms and mops).

Fortunately, now we have many options in the market for vacuum cleaners. For example, a 3-in-1 vacuum cleaner which goes from a regular vacuum to a handheld vacuum, to a handheld vacuum without a brush attachment.

Another option is robot vacuums. They are a pretty recent tech development that seems to work for many busy families. Of course, they will never have the accuracy and efficiency of a professional cleaner, or just any person at all. But they do seem to help with at least maintaining your floors if you don’t have the time or consistency.

When choosing a vacuum cleaner, besides the HEPA filter, make sure it comes with different tools and attachments, such as a brush and a capture nozzle.

Cordless vacuums are often more comfortable, but you might need one with a large battery if you have a big home, or you might need to split your vacuuming in two different “sessions”.

Robot vacuum Emilys Maids

Bring The Heavy Machinery: An Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner

Now that your floors are nice and vacuumed, you might need an upholstery and carpet cleaner. Not only for carpet flooring and rugs, but it will be useful for your furniture such as your couch and other seating.

An upholstery is slightly different from a vacuum cleaner because it is meant for deep cleaning and absorbing deep stains and dirt that has been building up in carpet or upholstery. They have particularly strong suction power and the way they work is by having two compartments.

One of them has clean water or soapy water. The other one is the dirty water reservoir. This way, you apply clean, soapy water, vacuum and absorb all the dirty water which then goes to a different container.

As you can imagine, it cleans much deeper than a vacuum cleaner. It is not uncommon to find devices that work both as a dry and a wet vacuum cleaner, or even a steamer as well.

Learn more: 10 Tips to Keep Your Carpet Clean and Hygienic

Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning

Get a Good Mop

After taking care of your carpet floors and rugs, you might need a mop as well. A good mop is essential for maintaining hard flooring such as wooden, ceramic and vinyl.

With a mop, you can apply liquid cleaning and disinfecting products evenly across the surface.

Some of the important features of a good mop are good absorbency, release and cleaning power. There are two main types of electric mops: flat and spin mops. Most modern models come with two circular spinning mopheads, and flat ones are usually rectangle-shaped or triangle-shaped.

When looking for a good electric mop, make sure it has washable pads, that it is lightweight and easy to handle, and that it doesn’t require filtered or distilled water to be easily refillable.

Although cordless mops are easier to maneuver around the house, they tend to have a small battery life (around 30 minutes, depending on the model). If you have a large home, a corded version might work better for you.

Brush Drill Attachment: The Perfect Tool for Cleaning Your Bathroom and Kitchen

This is not a device on its own, but it is an attachment for a drill. This is perfect for areas with cleaning tile surfaces, such as your kitchen and your bathroom, especially because grease, soap scum and bacteria start to build up with time. Plus, grout between tiles gets dark and starts to lose some of its luster.

A brush drill attachment is shaped like a toilet brush, and it attaches to a regular drill. If you truly want to clean your home like a professional, a drill brush will dig deep at your surfaces and leave them spotless.

After applying a cleaning agent, you can wait around 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the cleaning agents you use) use this brush drill attachment to your kitchen and bathroom surfaces, your tub and your shower.

Fortunately, most attachment sets actually bring different brushes, around 3 to 5 pieces with different sizes and purposes. Some of them might be wider and flatter which is ideal for large, flat surfaces such as your floors. Others might be perfect for corners or little nooks and crannies thanks to their smaller size.

Get a Steamer to Deep Clean Your Floors

Steam is one of the most effective cleaning agents! It’s just water at really high temperatures. This brings many advantages: it is completely safe for all surfaces (unless they say otherwise), easy to dry and remove, and completely harmless to the human body as well. This means you can replace some of the harmful chemicals you might be using right now.

According to research, water at such high temperatures has proven to kill many types of bacteria and mold. With a steamer, you can apply hot water to different surfaces. It can remove stains and soften up grease, for example. It is capable of killing fleas and dust mites as well.

Be careful on less durable upholstery fabrics that might damage the integrity due to the high heating exposure. Use distilled water in your steam cleaner if you have hard water in your area. Dallas, for example, is known for having hard water.

Your steam cleaner is useful in so many areas. You can use that in your kitchen, specifically in your counters, the inside of your cabinets, as well as your appliances and your range hoods to soften up grease.

As we mentioned earlier, you can find a steam mop that will mix the best of a mop and a vacuum or an upholstery cleaner that also works as a steamer.

Using Steam Mop to Clean Wooden Floors


This is the end of part I from our new series on how to clean your floors! We really hope you enjoy this chapter to start with, so you get to choose the best tools before we continue with this series.

Soon we will bring more tips about cleaning your floors, so you are able to keep these floors for longer.

And as always, don’t forget to contact us if you need our help with our maid & cleaning service.

Until next time!

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

May 31, 2022 by emilysmaids

Square - 10 Food Ingredients You Can Use for Cleaning Part II

We’re back with part II! We have more ingredients you can use for cleaning. Our last article mentioned five ingredients and their incredible uses for cleaning, and now we’re here to bring five more.

Many products that you can use for cleaning are already in your pantry or in your fridge. And if you missed Part I, don’t worry! Let’s read a quick recap first.

Quick Recap from Part I About Using Food Ingredients for Cleaning

More and more people have started to use food for cleaning over time. Ingredients are almost always not pH neutral: they are either acid or alkaline. When used properly, this allows them to be used for different surfaces with multiple purposes: cleaning, degreasing, disinfecting, and deodorizing. 

Part I describes the cleaning properties of five products from your pantry: salt, vodka, lemon juice, vinegar, and coconut.

Salt is a terrific cleaner, for example. It is affordable, you can buy it in bulk, and it’s useful for absorbing moisture and oil, plus removing grease. It is commonly used for cleaning cast irons, for example.

Vodka, believe it or not, is also used for cleaning. Thanks to its alcohol concentration, it is perfect for killing many different types of bacteria. Mixed with other products it is an effective all-purpose cleaner.

Lemon juice is another acidic agent that is capable of removing bacteria and grease, especially when combined with hot water. It is also great for removing odors, which makes it the perfect cleaning agent for deodorizing microwaves and fridges.

Vinegar is another popular ingredient for cleaning: it’s versatile, effective, and safe to use. It is safe enough that, right after you use it for cleaning, you can use it for dressing a salad! You can use it for killing bacteria on pretty much all surfaces. It is perfect for tile floors and walls, as well as laminate countertops. This makes it the ideal cleaning ally for your kitchen and bathroom. Plus, you can use vinegar as a fabric softener and deodorizer as well.

Last but not least, coconut oil is used often in the personal care industry. In the cleaning field, you can use it to remove sticky labels, remove water stains, and for moisturizing different surfaces.

Now that you’ve read this quick recap of our previous article, it’s time to learn about 5 more ingredients you can use for cleaning!

Cleaning With Lemon and Essential Oils

Olive Oil: Great for Cooking, Great for Cleaning

Olive oil is a delicious, healthy ingredient that enhances any dish it’s in. But did you know it also works as a cleaning agent? Like coconut oil, it has moisturizing properties, and you can use it to remove grease.

It is ideal for delicate surfaces, especially those that come from live beings such as wood. Because they need to maintain certain conditions of temperature and humidity, any noticeable change will make them lose their natural balance. This can come from natural environment changes, for example. Dallas is known for having noticeable changes in humidity, going from 40% to 85% on the same day.

The point is, if you’re not careful, wood can show cracks or scuffs with time. If it happens, they will need some added moisturizing.

You can mix three parts olive oil with one part distilled white vinegar. You can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil for an extra refreshing, clean fragrance. Test in a small area first and then, if the material reacted favorably, apply to the entire surface, using a microfiber cloth.

Make sure you don’t go overboard because the material might end up too oily and unpleasant to the touch. 

As for removing grease, this is ideal for stainless steel because it won’t cause staining, because olive oil is pretty much pH neutral. It’s not acid enough to cause a stain or decoloring in your stainless-steel products. This includes anything from countertops to appliances and silverware, even light fixtures!

Similar to coconut oil, you can use this for removing sticky labels as well. Just place a few drops of olive oil on the paper label and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Remember we mentioned salt for cleaning cast iron pans? You can mix coarse salt with olive oil to get rid of stubborn residues.

Olive Oil Ingredients for Cleaning

Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a compound that is commonly found as a powder. Besides being a great ingredient for cooking and baking, it is also one of the most popular ingredients that people use for cleaning.

First of all, it is a harmless chemical compound, and that is something you don’t see very often. It is only slightly alkaline, and it is perfectly fine for pretty much all surfaces, including sensitive ones such as granite or marble.

Second, it is effective for removing odors, dissolving dirt and grease, and overall cleaning and maintaining surfaces.

Baking soda is pretty much the perfect companion for many other cleaning products as well. It is one of the very few products that you can mix safely with bleach, for example.

Because it is powder, that property is also useful on its own because it can be combined with liquids (e.g., lemon juice, vinegar, even dish soap).

We have many guides on the use of baking soda as a cleaning agent, such as for Cleaning Your Bathroom and your Kitchen Items, and even your Couch.

Cleaning With Baking Soda and a Toothbrush

Orange Peels: Using Fruits as Ingredients for Cleaning

We previously mentioned in our article about Fruits and Vegetables For Cleaning that Orange peels are great as an ingredient for all-purpose cleaners. This is particularly great if you are (or want to be) part of the zero-waste movement, which aims to reduce the waste you produce.

For example, you can leave orange peels in a mason jar filled halfway with vinegar (either white or apple cider). Vinegar extracts oils of oranges which will add degreasing power and create an all-purpose cleaner. This creates a product with both degreasing and disinfecting properties. This is perfect for wood surfaces because they will be moisturized and smell great afterward.

You can also fill a small plate with orange peels and two tablespoons of salt and place it in the fridge. This is great for absorbing odors. Salt is able to absorb moisture, while orange peels slowly release a pleasant fragrance to balance out the odor in your fridge.

Peel Oranges Mix for Cleaning

Corn Starch

Corn starch or cornflour is another versatile ingredient in your kitchen, and it is frequently used to thicken soups or sauces. But did you know it can be used for cleaning as well?

Cornstarch is able to remove different types of stains, grease, and odors.

For example, if you have grease stains on your clothing, you can apply a big scoop of cornstarch and let it sit for 12 hours. This will give it plenty of time for cornstarch to absorb grease. You can wash normally afterward to remove residues.

You can use this trick for cleaning carpet floors as well, and particularly for removing stains or odors. In this case, you should sprinkle cornstarch on the carpet for 30 minutes and then vacuum.

Cornstarch is useful for cleaning cooktops as well as kitchen utensils, mainly pots, and pans. It is effective but it’s non-abrasive, which makes it safe for your items. In this case, you can mix one-part water with two parts of cornstarch. This will create a paste that you can leave on your surfaces so that it softens grease and burned-on food. 

Ketchup: One of The Unexpected Ingredients for Cleaning

Who would’ve thought that ketchup is capable of cleaning surfaces? The power of ketchup comes from tomatoes. This brings citric acid which is a powerful cleaner and degreaser. Ketchup has vinegar, too, which adds even more to its acidity levels.

Ketchup is perfect for removing tarnish from pots and other utensils. The best part is that it works for both copper and stainless-steel items.  You can leave it for as long as you want (as long as you try it in a small area first, of course). Don’t forget to wipe and rinse with plenty of water.

You can remove rust spots from cast iron pans as well. Cast iron pans do not get along with humidity, and they can rust with time.

In this case, it’s pretty much the same procedure: cover the rust spots with some ketchup and wipe clean after letting it sit for a few hours.


VoilĂ ! There you have it, five more food ingredients that you can use for cleaning. All of these ingredients are affordable, and you can even buy them in bulk to have plenty of it if you want to use them both as a food ingredient and as a cleaning agent.

As a rule of thumb, remember to test any cleaning agents on a small area first, and you can even combine or test different cleaning products one after the other until you reach the desired results.

Remember that you can contact our professional cleaning service if you need help with taking care of your home and giving you extra time to spend with your family.

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.


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 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.


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.


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!


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.


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


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


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


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.

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