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Are You Allergic to Your House?

June 21, 2013 by admin

Are You Allergic to Your House?…

Living with allergies can be miserable. Itchy, watery eyes. Runny nose. Constant sneezing. The answer to outdoor allergies may be to stay inside as much as possible but what about the allergens inside your home? In this video we will give you some easy ways to reduce indoor allergens and hopefully put an end to those sniffles. Indoor allergens include dust, mold and pet dander. Let’s look at them one by one.

Dust

Reducing and controlling dust in your home is a matter of common sense and elbow grease. Keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible. You will need to vacuum often, change the vacuum bag often and also dust furniture and surfaces on a regular basis. Consider having your carpet steam cleaned at least twice a year. Carpet harbors allergens much easier and in much higher quantities than hard surface floors like wood and tile. You still need to sweep and mop your hard surface floors on a regular basis. Wash area rugs, bath mats and all of your curtains on a regular basis. You should wash all bedding and pillows often as well, use hot water. Avoid hanging laundered clothes or other items outside to dry, it’s better to use your clothes dryer and avoid bringing outdoor allergens into the house.

Mold

Mold is a terrible allergen and in extreme cases mold can cause serious respiratory problems even for people without allergies. You should treat any visible mold with a diluted bleach solution or alternatively you can try vinegar, especially if you are worried about discoloration from bleach. If you have a plumbing leak anywhere in your home, get it fixed quickly! Then keep an eye on the area around the source of the leak for any sign of mold. You can use a dehumidifier if necessary to deter the appearance of mold in humid areas like basements. Mold can grow inside walls and under floors so if you suspect you have hidden mold it’s time to call in a professional.

Pet Dander

It’s a common misconception that pet allergies are caused by pet hair alone, in fact they are caused mainly by pet dander; tiny flakes of dead skin that fall naturally off of your pet. Pet allergies can be heartbreaking if they are extreme because sometimes the only solution is to remove the pet from the home. Before you think about that, there are a few things you can try. Keep your pet off of the furniture and out of bedrooms at all times. If possible you should restrict them to areas with hard surface flooring like tile or wood. Giving the pet frequent baths may help, but ideally it shouldn’t be the allergic person doing the bathing. Wash pet beds and bedding often.  Wash your hands after handling your pet and if contact sparks your allergies you may need to take a more hands off approach. That’s it for this edition of Clean Freaks and as always: if it sounds like too much work just call Dallas Maids!

 

 

 

Disinfecting Your Home

June 1, 2013 by Dallas Maids

Cold and flu season is upon us! If you and your family are stuck in a cycle of never ending colds it may be time to disinfect your home. Today we are going to show you how seek out the hidden germs in your home, how to wipe them out and how to keep them from coming back.

Toothbrushes

Your family’s toothbrushes can be a hotbed for germs and harmful bacteria. You should sanitize each toothbrush once a week by mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water and letting the toothbrush sit in that mixture bristles down for a few minutes. Always store your toothbrushes bristle side up in a medicine cabinet. Don’t leave them out in the open in the bathroom because. ready to gag? When your toilet flushes it can send tiny particles and bacteria into the air and those can land on your brush. Your family’s toothbrushes should be stored in a way that they are never touching and you shouldn’t share toothbrushes with anyone. Toothbrushes should be replaced every few months.

Kitchen

Germs Generally speaking the kitchen sink, the drain and the garbage disposal are the germiest places in your kitchen. Pour a half a cup of bleach and a half a cup of water around your sink and down your kitchen drain once a week. Sponges are another germ magnet. To sanitize your kitchen sponge simply get it wet, stick it in the microwave and nuke it on high for 2 minutes. Careful it’s hot! Sponges should be replaced and discarded frequently.

Common objects

Think of how many things your hands touch every day. Probably hundreds. Multiply that by the number of people in your home and that’s a whole lot of germ potential! Time to enforce a policy of frequent hand-washing! Put hand sanitizer around the house in areas like the bathrooms and kitchen. Buy a good sanitizing cleaning spray and use it to spray and wipe down the objects that your family shares or touches often. That should include doorknobs, light switches, drawer handles, the computer (don’t forget the mouse!), hand railings, arm rests of chairs, telephones and remote controls. You can sanitize washable items by washing them in the hot water cycle of your washing machine. That’s also a good way to wash children’s stuffed animals though you might try freezing them in the freezer for 24 hours to disinfect. Toys made from durable materials and plastic toys that don’t contain electronic components can be dunked in a bucket of diluted bleach water and left to air dry. Electronic toys can be carefully wiped with a sanitizer damped cloth or a handy disposable sanitizing wipe.

That’s it for this edition of Clean Freaks and as always: if it sounds like too much work just call Dallas Maids!

 

 

 

Minimizing Mini Blind Cleaning Frusteration

May 24, 2013 by Dallas Maids

Mini blinds are dust and grime magnets. They can also be frustrating to clean if you aren’t sure how to begin. In this video we will give you three different methods for cleaning mini blinds. I know I’m excited, let’s get going!

Method 1- Just Dust

If your blind just need dusting you can easily clean them using the brush attachment on your vacuum hose. First lock the blinds in the up position (visual) and vacuum along the length of the slats, working from the top of the blinds to the bottom. Then switch the blinds into the down position (visual) and repeat the same process again. The more often you dust your blinds the less often you will need to wash them which brings us to our next method.

Method 2- Toss them in the tub

To wash sticky grime off your mini blinds you can wash them in the bathtub. Just fill the bathtub halfway with warm water and add a few squirts of dish soap. If the blinds are really dirty you can add a little degreaser to the mix as well. Remove the blinds from the wall, they may be the kind that snap in and out of place or you may have to remove a couple of screws. Place the dirty blinds in the tub; the warm soapy water should cover them completely. Let them soak for 10 to 15 minutes to loosen the grime. Then you can clean each slat by hand right there in the tub either by using some cotton gloves or just old washcloths. Once you have given them a good wipe down you should drain the water from the tub and rinse the blinds with clean water. You will need to hang them somewhere other than the wall to dry or you can simply lay them out on some towels on the floor to dry there.

Method 3- Head Outdoors

If the weather is nice you might prefer to wash your blinds outside. Find a place to hang them up, a clothesline would be ideal but a fence or a porch banister work nicely too. Have a bucket of warm soapy water on hand and again you can use some cotton gloves or washcloths to wipe each side of each slat. A garden hose makes rinsing your blinds a piece of cake. Please don’t be tempted to power-wash your blinds, we’ve seen the videos too but more often than not you will end up with bent or broken slats. Once you’ve rinsed you can leave your blinds outside to dry in the sunshine before hanging them back in place That’s it for this edition of Clean Freaks and as always: if it sounds like too much work just call Dallas Maids!

 

 

 

Toilet Trials: Cleaning Your Toilet Bowl

May 17, 2013 by Dallas Maids

Today we will be coming clean on the very best ways to tackle one of the most dreaded cleaning tasks of all; cleaning the toilet bowl. Over the years we’ve met with a lot of different theories about the best way to clean a toilet and here we will tell you which work, which don’t and which are just plain weird.

Toilet Trial #1: Bleach

It seems that bleach is everyone’s cleaner of choice when it comes time to scrub toilets but it actually may not be doing the job you think it is. The benefit that bleach has is that it’s extremely effective against germs and bacteria. The problem is that it’s also a whitening agent and that means you may just be bleaching a ring of corrosive scum instead of removing it. The sneaky scum will still be there you just won’t be able to see it but that can certainly cause trouble down the road. Also, if you choose to use bleach or a product with bleach in it it’s very important not to mix it with any product containing ammonia because that can cause very toxic and harmful fumes. Always check the label!

Toilet Trial #2 Lemon or Orange Drink Mix

This one is pretty unconventional! We won’t name any brands but you know those little envelopes of drink mix that kids love so much? They have a cult following in the secret cleaning tips arena. You just sprinkle the powder around the bowl, let stand for ten to twenty minutes and then give it a good scrub. So is this one true or false? Kind of gross but true! The orange and lemon flavored drink mixes contain citric acid which dissolve the dreaded scum buildup. That said, it’s certainly not the best fix for tough stains or toilet bowl rings. Also, keep in mind that other flavors won’t work, no grape or cherry please! And make sure the mix is one that doesn’t have the sugar already added or you may just be feeding the bacteria. Ready for another strange one?

Toilet Trial #3: Cola Flavored Sodapop

Ready to get turned off to another of your favorite beverages? Some people swear by cola sodapop to clean their toilet bowls! Again the citric acid can be helpful, and talk about scrubbing bubbles! But the problem lies in the sugar, again bacteria thrive and feed off of sugar so put them on a diet soda if you want to try this one. In our experience, this trick is not as effective so you might just want to save your tasty beverage for lunch.

Toilet Trial #4: Denture Tablets

This is a neat little trick. Drop a pair of denture cleaning tablets in your bowl before bedtime. In the morning just give it a quick scrub and voila! A toilet fit for an orthodontist! This works for regular maintenance cleaning but not for old stains or tough rings. And of course a little light scrubbing is still required!

Ok we’ve looked at some conventional toilet cleaning methods and other not so conventional ones. So, how do the award-winning Dallas maids clean toilets? With an acid based toilet bowl cleaning product. Maybe not fun or glamorous but an acid based product will bust scum, remove rings and kill all of the bacteria along the way. If you have a tough ring you can use a nylon backed scrub sponge along with the acid cleaner. Another useful tip if you have a china toilet bowl is to use a pumice stone on stubborn rings and stains, just make sure to keep the stone wet as you work!

That’s it for this edition of Clean Freaks and as always: if it sounds like too much work just call Dallas Maids!

 

 

 

Cleaning Carpet Stains

May 3, 2013 by Dallas Maids

It’s time for another carpet cleaning tip from Dallas Maids Today’s tip: removing carpet stains. How many times has this happened to you?

Red wine stains got you down?

Turn that frown upside down! Dallas Maids is going to show you how to get rid of that red wine stain fast! It’s a trade secret. think you can handle it?

Ok then. Ready. Set.. Vodka!

We DO NOT drink the vodka!

NO! We’re going to fight alcohol with alcohol! Just follow these three easy steps.

Step one, blot the spot!

The best time to fight a stain is while it’s still a spill, the fresher the stain the easier it will be to remove. So get some clean white towels, even paper towels will work, and start soaking up as much of the wine as you can. Blot the stain, never rubbing; rubbing will only make it worse. When one towel gets dirty, switch it for a fresh one. Once you’ve soaked up as much the stain as possible then you can move on to step 2.

Step two, bring on the alcohol!

You can use any kind of clear alcohol to treat the stain, rubbing alcohol, white wine works too! We like to use vodka! Apply a generous amount of vodka over the entire stained area.

Nu uh uh

Step three, blot some more!

Use more clean white towels to soak up as much of the stain as possible, if there is any left.  Most likely the clear alcohol removed the stain completely.  The alcohol is strong enough to remove the stain while not strong enough to harm the carpet. There you have it! A super-secret carpet cleaning tip from Dallas Maids to save the day!

You’re welcome!

 

 

How to Start a Maid Service

April 26, 2013 by Dallas Maids

Today we are going to show some love for all of you up and coming cleaning industry tycoons. If you are thinking of starting a residential maid service or if you have launched one recently this video is for you! Here you will get business tips and trade secrets from Dallas Maids, the wildly successful, number one maid service in Dallas.  Ready to make some money? Let’s do it!

Tip #1: Think big or go home!

If your plan is to have a large, thriving cleaning service then you need to treat it that way from the beginning. Write an operations manual outlining company policies and procedures. If you try to fly by the seat of your pants you could crash and burn once you start to expand. Put sustainable systems in place for your operation with your long term goal in mind. Train you employees and enforce company policy from the get go. Having a solid business structure will keep your business from imploding when your workload increases because the weakest part of your chain of operations is where the added pressure of more business can cause a breakdown. If something doesn’t work, rethink it and try something else until you find what works for your company.

Tip #2: Surround yourself with good people

Have high standards and expectations when you choose someone to work for you. Look for honesty, loyalty, passion and principles. You want to form long term working relationships with the people on every level of your business. This should include people that provide services like your attorney and your accountant. Treat your employees with dignity and respect; be fair because a good employee is worth more than a good customer. Expect your customers to do the same, hold them to high standards of behavior as well and if you happen to run into a customer that treats your employees badly… fire that customer! Your employees need to know that you care about their welfare; they will work harder and be loyal to you if you do this. Praise them for a job well done and they will provide consistently excellent service to you clients.

Tip #3: The 80/20 rule

You should know that 20% of your customers will provide you with 80% of your revenue, don’t take them for granted! Likewise 20% of your clients will cause 80% of your problems and you can give yourself permission to let those ones go. Your service will be better for doing so. On the home front 20% of your employees are going to provide 80% of the value so make sure you take care of them and send them to your best top 20% customers.

Tip #4: Know your Customer

You might have hundreds of customers but each of them hopefully only has one maid service… yours! Find out everything you can about your customers, make notes in their record, they don’t want to feel like a number to you. Customize their service and they will keep coming back for more. Tip #5: Reach out Form relationships with other cleaning businesses. The owners tend to be friendly and helpful! Take notes on what is working for them and implement it. Communicate. Exchange ideas. Help each other grow and become better businesses.

Tip #6: Stand Strong and Walk Tall

Don’t compromise your principles for anyone. Have integrity, your word should be golden so don’t give it lightly. Don’t cut corners. Lead your employees by example and they will follow you anywhere.

That’s it for this edition of Clean Freaks; hopefully you got some valuable insight into building a successful and profitable maid service! Congratulations and good luck on your new project from your friends here at Dallas Maids!

 

 

 

Children’s Messes

April 12, 2013 by Dallas Maids

Today. Our best tips for cleaning up after kids!

Kids. They change our lives, warm our hearts and sometimes. they can create very creative messes that their parents have no idea how to clean. Any mom with a toddler can attest to the wide range of cleaning challenges that a small child can throw your way. From the crayon Mona Lisa on your living room wall; to the gum in your carpet; to the stickers on your furniture this video goes out to all of you puzzled parents!

Crayon Scribbles

If you have a budding artist at home chances are you might have some of their artwork on your walls. Here are three methods for removing the scribbles from your painted walls. You should test the method on an inconspicuous part of the wall first just to be safe:

  • Rub it with toothpaste, just make sure it’s toothpaste not gel. The toothpaste should lift crayon off of most painted walls and then you just wipe the surface clean with a damp rag.
  • Spray hairspray on it. This one is also good for permanent marker scribbles. Just spray and wipe it clean.
  • Try an art eraser, you can pick them up at big grocery stores now. They magically erase all kinds of scribbles on a variety of surfaces.

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is tasty, fun and a parent’s worst cleaning nightmare. So what to do if you have a sticky lump of gum in your carpet?

First, remove as much of the gum as you possibly can by hand. Careful not to damage the carpet fibers! Then put some ice cubes in a bag and hold the bag against the gum until it freezes. Once it’s frozen you can chip away at the frozen gum with a metal spoon, collecting the frosty shavings as you go. Once you have removed the gum completely you can use a little dry cleaning solution on the spot to zap any remaining hidden stickiness. Blot that up and finish up by giving the spot a quick scrub with a bit of soapy water, a mild dish soap works well. Rinse and blot dry with a clean towel for the win!

Stickers

Who gave your toddler the stickers? We don’t know but now your home is sticker-fied. When you try to pull them off you may be left with either a gray or white sticky spot. Clean freaks to the rescue! You can try:

  • Nail polish remover – obviously you don’t want to use this on anything painted or on delicate materials.
  • Hair spray – No really! Just spray it on and wipe it off.
  • Heat. Use a hair dryer to heat the gooey stain and then clean it with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry as needed.

We hope these kid-inspired cleaning tips made cleaning up after your children a bit easier. That’s it for this edition of Clean Freaks and as always: if it sounds like too much work just call Dallas Maids!

 

 

 

Cleaning Painted Walls

April 5, 2013 by Dallas Maids

Even if the rest of your house is spotlessly clean, grungy walls can make your home look dirty. Before you reach for more paint to mask the problem learn how to clean your painted walls in this video.

Find your finish…

The way you should clean your walls and the effectiveness of washing them will all depend on the paint you are cleaning. Most wall paint will be of one of the four following varieties:

Baked Enamel

Baked enamel is the easiest paint to clean, so if this is your paint you are in luck. The enamel paint is durable and doesn’t easily stain, dirt can’t easily penetrate this paint. You will typically see baked enamel on appliances etcetera Feel free to give baked enamel a good scrub with a mild abrasive cleaner, a heavy duty cleaner or a degreaser if needed. Just be careful not to use any harsh abrasives, steel wool or serious solvents as any of these can dull or scratch that shiny finish!

General Purpose Enamel

This is a popular paint choice for kitchens or bathrooms especially. This kind of enamel paint is pretty durable and can clean up nicely if you give it a light scrubbing with a neutral cleaner and a white scrubby sponge. Avoid color sponges that may stain white walls and stay away from abrasive cleaners. If your enamel is latex based don’t get it too wet, you can dry as you go. Oil based enamels are more resistant to water damage.  The finish will also affect your outcome, glossy enamels are the easiest to clean, followed by semi-gloss and satin. Satin finish is the least washable of the enamel family.

Flat Latex

Flat latex paints are the least durable and washable of the interior paints. You run the risk of removing some of the paint if you scrub too hard so be careful! A mild cleaner and a soft rag are acceptable, just don’t get the walls too wet. Rinse off the product quickly and if you can blot the walls to dry with a clean towel that’s even better.

Exterior Paint

Obviously you will usually see this paint on the outside of your home. It’s pretty durable but you should still steer clear of using pressure washers or harsh chemicals as these can both damage the paint. Instead give it a scrub with a mild detergent and then rinse it off with a hose. You may need a ladder or a long handled brush to reach the high up trim.

The hard and fast rules for cleaning painted walls are: know your paint, know it’s weaknesses and know when it may just be time for a fresh coat. That’s it for this edition of Clean Freaks and as always: if it sounds like too much work just call Dallas Maids!

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning 2013 Infographic – Get it Done!

March 29, 2013 by admin

 

spring cleaning infographic

 

Removing Pet Stains from Carpet

March 22, 2013 by Dallas Maids

Pets are our faithful companions, our confidantes and truly a part of the family. But even the most devoted pet owner is dismayed to see a puppy puddle on the carpet. This all too common problem can ruin your carpet if not treated quickly. In this video we will tell you everything you need to know about treating pet stains on your carpets.

Soak It Up

The earlier you can catch and treat the spot, the better your chances of successfully removing both the stain and the odor. If it just happened blot the spot with rags or towels to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Put some pressure on the stain to absorb moisture that may be trapped closer to the carpet pad, you can step on the towels if necessary. Once you have picked up as much of the liquid as possible it’s time to treat the spot with a liquid enzyme/bacteria digester, you can find one at the pet shop. Follow the directions on the packaging and label. Make sure you leave the product on for the entire soaking time as indicated in the directions. Spray the entire stain with the digestor, cover the area in plastic and step on it to really work that product down deep and into the pad.

Now. what if you didn’t catch Fifi in the act? What can be done for old stains?

Old Stains

Old stains can be tough or next to impossible to remove. Go ahead and treat them with the enzyme digestor, again covering the area in plastic to keep it from drying out while the product is working. If your pet has had frequent accidents in this same spot you may need to neutralize all of the ammonia as it will interfere with the digester’s progress. Four hours after applying the product you should rinse the area with a vinegar and water solution. A cup of vinegar in a gallon of warm water is perfect. Rinse the carpet with that and then dose he area again with the digester.

Professional Help

 If after all of that work you still have a stain then it’s time to call a professional carpet cleaning and deodorizing specialist. Solutions range from steam cleaning to replacing the pad and possibly treating the subfloor with acid. It’s important to treat the stain and odor down to the very bottom layer or else your pooch will remember the spot and go back there again to do it’s business.

To sum it up: Pet stains are best treated early to avoid costly replacement costs down the road. That’s it for this edition of Clean Freaks and as always: if it sounds like too much work just call Dallas Maids!

 

 

 

 

 

 
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