Cleaning Routine 101

The easiest way to stay on top of your house cleaning routine is to avoid letting it pile up on you.

Break up your work into cleaning jobs that need to be performed daily, weekly and monthly. If you work a day job, divide your daily tasks into chores you do each morning before work and each evening after work. If you are a full-time homemaker, you can decide whether to split up your work or complete it all at once each day.

In the morning before work:

  • Make the beds. Choose one day each week to change the bedclothes—preferably a day when you don’t have to get out the door for work.
  • Empty the dishwasher. Load any dirty dishes from breakfast; start the wash cycle if there are too many to add dinner dishes before washing.
  • Start one load of laundry, if needed.

In the evening after work:

  • Dry, fold, and put away laundry, as needed. Choose one night each week to take care of any ironing needs for the week.
  • Empty dishwasher if needed. Load the dishwasher after dinner and wash.
  • Sweep the kitchen and dining room. Once or twice a week, sweep the front and back porch as well.

Do the chore of the day:

  • Monday – Clean bathrooms by scrubbing the toilet (inside and out), cleaning the sink, wiping down everything on the bathroom counters or shelves, cleaning the tub or shower, cleaning the shower curtain if needed, and cleaning the mirrors.
  • Tuesday – Dust the furniture. Clean the screens and housing of televisions and computer monitors. Dust wall hangings.
  • Wednesday – Clean all flooring by vacuuming or mopping; shake rugs or wash if needed.
  • Friday – This is a free day that you can adjust to fit your weekly schedule.
  • Saturday – This is the day to do a swing chore (see the list below) plus anything you didn’t have time for during the week.
  • Sunday – This is a free day that you can adjust to fit your weekly schedule.

Below are the Saturday swing chores. You can modify these to fit the needs of your home and schedule.

  • Week 1 – Clean kitchen appliances inside and out as needed (oven, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, any appliances that sit out on the countertop like a toaster, mixer or coffee maker)
  • Week 2 – Spot clean walls and doors; clean baseboards.
  • Week 3 – Clean the inside of your windows and dust blinds and ceiling fan blades.
  • Week 4 – Wipe down the inside and outside of kitchen cabinets. Clean light fixtures throughout the house. For fixtures with bare bulbs, turn the light off to let the bulbs cool. Then remove them from the sockets and spray them with glass cleaner. Let stand for about a minute, then wipe clean and replace in the sockets.
  • Week 5 – Choose one cleaning task that isn’t on this list—something like cleaning the garage.

Following this schedule means that you won’t hit the end of each week dreading the weekend because you know you have tons of housework to do. Even if you don’t work outside the home, following this schedule can help you feel like you do something each day besides clean house!  And of course there are always those times when life happens and you just can’t get it all done. Instead of feeling frustrated and behind on your cleaning chores, contact us at the HousecleaningEU and let us give you a hand. Visit our website today and find out more about how we can help you with routine cleaning as well as special event cleaning and everything in between!

Is a Clean House with Pets the Impossible Dream?

Having pets in the family can add a lot to your to do list, but using a little forethought and taking a little bit of preventive action make a clean home with pets a reality instead of a dream.

Managing the pet hair seems to be the biggest challenge–whether your pet sheds a little or a lot. Success depends upon how conscientious you are about proper pet grooming and staying ahead of the mess. Place an old towel or sheet wherever your pet likes to rest, and regularly shake it outside to remove most of the hair before washing. Vacuum carpets often, using a full-suction vacuum with a HEPA filter. On bare floors, choose an electrostatic mop to keep hair out of the air. Vacuum upholstery with the appropriate attachments. You can also use lint brushes or dry sponges (sold at pet supply stores). Replace air filters every two to four weeks. Clean filters trap more hair. Train your dog to immediately sit on a floor mat to be wiped down (especially paws) each time he comes in from outdoors, to avoid bringing dirt inside.

The litter box can never be “too clean.” Scoop at least twice a day. Completely empty and scrub the box with a water and bleach solution mixed with Dawn before replacing litter. Don’t use ammonia products; they mimic the smell of cat urine. Replace the entire box once a year; cats scratching in the box create divots that absorb stool.

Immediately clean up pet accidents with a product designed specifically for pet messes. Pet urine left on carpets can permanently alter the dye. Remove any solid residue with a dull knife. Blot fresh stains with a clean, white cloth. After absorbing as much moisture as possible, apply a solution of 1/4 teaspoon clear dishwashing liquid mixed with one cup tepid water; blot with another clean, dry towel. Rinse by blotting with a towel dampened with tepid water. Continue alternating with a soapy towel and a clean, damp towel until the stain is gone. For stale stains or persistent odor, use a professional carpet cleaner.

Always wipe down your counters with a disinfecting wipe or solution before and after you put food on the counter. Keep all food preparation tools inside cupboards and drawers. This helps avoid contamination that could occur when paws that have touched litter come in contact with food prep surfaces. When that happens, organisms like toxoplasmas are sharing counter space with your food!

While reptiles and amphibians they don’t scatter fur or climb on the counter unless you put them there, they can carry viruses like salmonella and shigella. To avoid spreading them, wipe down cages and habitats daily and clean once a week, wearing gloves. Don’t wash habitats in the kitchen sink. Instead, use the laundry sink or bathtub and disinfect afterwards.

Keep pet food supplies in sealed containers, and clean up spilled food immediately. Feed your pet then clean the dish soon after. Open storage containers and food dishes attract rodents and other pests. A good-sized litter mat, as well as large absorbent, rubber-backed mats under pet food and water dishes, will also help contain mess.

Sometimes a do-it-yourself job is not quite enough. Let HousecleaninEU provide you with professional cleaning services. Complete the quick quote form to let us give you a quote today!

Choosing the Right Vacuum Cleaner

Having the right vacuum cleaner for the job at hand simplifies what might otherwise be an onerous task. Answering a few questions before you shop will help you choose the right vacuum cleaner for your situation.

How often do you vacuum? For daily cleaning, a lightweight stick model usually works for the average  home or apartment. On the other hand, if you tend to wait for a week or more to vacuum, a larger upright or canister model with a more powerful motor might be better suited to your vacuuming needs. The more powerful unit is also best for a large home with wall-to-wall carpeting even if you do vacuum every day or two.

How much power do you need? Many maintain that suction is the most important factor in choosing the most effective machine. Suction involves air flow, agitation (the ability of the vacuum to penetrate and remove dirt from carpet fibers), and filtration (how much of the debris is expelled). Air watts are a good measurement of suction power. Some say that anything over 200 air watts will provide powerful suction capacity.

Which style is best? You need to look at upright or canister, and bag or bagless models. When choosing between upright and canister models, the choice you are making is between maneuverability (the upright is clearly the winner here) and power (canister models often come out on top in this category).With bagless models, you never have to worry about keeping new bags on hand; and it’s also a plus that you don’t “handle the dirt” to throw it away. On the other hand, bags contain the grime and offer less exposure to particles when emptying the dirt–but you also lose suction and airflow as the bag fills up.

What special features do you prefer? First, the vacuum head needs channels to suction debris. Although strings and hair will wrap around a spinning brush and must be cleared away with scissors, it is ideal for carpeting, because it combs through fibers and extracts more dirt. Cordless models are great for large spaces, but be sure there is adequate run time to finish the space you need to clean. If you choose a corded vacuum, think about whether you want a self-retracting cord or at least a model with an easy-release handle if the cord is wound up after each use. Consider the accessibility of the on/off switch and the ease of releasing the handle so it flattens when there is a need to vacuum underneath furniture like beds and tables. Also ask yourself whether you need special attachments for ceiling fan blades, blinds or air grates.

Choosing a vacuum cleaner is based on a variety of individual preferences. Be sure to give these factors careful consideration to ensure making a purchase suited to your needs.

How to Make Your Bed Like a Professional

If you feel that making the bed starts the day off right, or if you need to develop the bed-making habit, these simple steps might help.

STEP 1 – Gather the items below if not already on the bed.

  • Fitted and flat sheet
  • Spread (i.e. blanket, comforter or duvet)
  • Pillows
  • Pillowcases

STEP 2– Clear the bed down to the mattress or to the fitted sheet if you’re making up a bed you just vacated. To put on a fitted sheet, pull the elasticized corners over both corners on one side of the bed, then both on the other side. If needed, lift the mattress slightly before pulling the elastic over each corner.

STEP 3 –Spread the flat sheet smoothly over the mattress. Patterns should face down. The top of the sheet should be even with the top of the mattress and centered to hang evenly over both sides. Follow these steps on both sides at the foot of the bed to achieve what is known as a hospital corner:

  • Tuck the fabric that hangs over the foot of the bed securely under the mattress; tuck the end of the sheet as far under between the mattress and box springs as its length allows.
  • At the side hem, pick up the edge of the top sheet 16 inches from the foot of the bed. Lift up and fold this section of sheet over the top of the mattress to a 45-degree angle from the corner.
  • Holding the folded piece of sheet in place on top of the mattress, neatly tuck in any sheet hanging below the mattress on the side of the bed.
  • Then, let the folded piece of sheet on top of the mattress drop down. If you prefer, you may tuck the hanging edge of the sheet between the mattress and box springs along the entire side of the bed from foot to head.

STEP 4 Place the spread on top, making sure to spread it evenly over the bed, with the same amount of overhang on each side. If the pillows are going under the spread, leave enough fabric at the top to cover them. If the pillows are going on top, place the top of the spread about six inches below the head of the bed and fold the sheet back over the top edge of the spread.

STEP 5 Prepare the pillows. First, fluff each one by grabbing it on either side and squeezing the sides together then releasing several times in an accordion-like motion. Insert each pillow into a clean case then place it flat at the head of the bed just touching the headboard.

STEP 6 – Place any decorative cushions or pillows you might have in an upright position at the head of the bed, leaning against the sleeping pillows for support.

How to Remove Rust Stains From Tubs and Sinks

Homeowners with a well are typically plagued by rust stains in sinks, toilets, and tubs. While there is some amount of staining that is not fixable once it has set for long periods of time, there are simple and safe ways to effectively keep up on the rust to prevent long term staining.

There are commercial products like CLR and Red-B-Gone that claim to remove rust stains. The safety of products such as these has come under scrutiny and many people are searching for a “green” and safe way to care for this issue without a possible sacrifice of health and safety within the home.

There is a three step safe and simple methods that will care for most of the rust issues that you may have to deal with. The three items used are Dawn liquid dish detergent, distilled white vinegar, and the Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean.

The first step is to squirt the Dawn detergent on the staining and leave to sit for several hours. Then using a spray bottle soak the stains with the vinegar and scrub the stains. Then final step is to use the Magic Eraser to scrub the remaining stains. The Magic Eraser is made from melamine foam and has an abrasive quality that will remove stains from a variety of problems. There are some surfaces that could be damaged by the Magic Eraser so be sure to read the label precautions and test on an inconspicuous area before scrubbing thoroughly.

Rust stain can be a huge turn off for guests and do not need to be something that you simply accept as normal for life with a well. These procedures can reduce or remove long-term stains and can very effectively remove short term stains with very little effort.