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Cleaning Grout

March 15, 2013 by Dallas Maids

Out of all of the bathroom cleaning tasks it seems like cleaning the grout is one that people struggle the most with. If you have classic white grout in normal condition you just need to give it a good scrub with a grout brush and a heavy duty cleaning product. Rinse it well and voila you are done.  If you have colored grout, old grout or mildew stains then you should follow our step by step instructions for your specific grout problem. In this episode we will teach you how to successfully clean different kinds of grout so that you too can be a grout guru.

Old Grout

If your grout has seen better days not to worry, you can give it new life with a few simple steps. First you will need to clean the grout with either a wax stripper or a heavy-duty cleaner. Use a grout brush to scrub it thoroughly. If you run into any really tough stains you can use a bleaching cleanser on the affected grout. Once the grout is as clean as you can get it, make sure you rinse it completely to remove product residues. Let it dry completely then apply a masonry sealer over the dry grout so it won’t stain so easily in the future.

Colored Grout

You should avoid using bleach based products on colored grout. Instead use a heavy duty cleaner and scrub the grout with your grout brush to get it as clean as possible. For any super stubborn stains you can use a one part bleach to five parts water mixture but just be aware that this could possibly affect the color of your grout. Again, rinse it well and let it dry before applying a masonry sealer to make future cleanings a piece of cake.

Mildew Stains

Mildew is not only unsightly, it’s unhealthy! Luckily it’s not impossible to get rid of mildew stains on your grout, you just need to mix a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach to 5 parts plain water. Apply the solution to the entire affected area and scrub it with a grout brush until the stains disappear. Once you’re finished, make sure to rinse the area very thoroughly to remove any leftover traces of bleach.

Well, 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 Guide Video – Spring Cleaning Tips to Get it Done in 2013!

March 8, 2013 by admin

pretty spring flower

Away with winter stuffiness, spring is our favorite time of the year! Sunshine, fresh breezes, flowers; what’s not to love? Spring cleaning is all about bringing that sunny, breezy freshness indoors. It’s a time honored tradition dating back centuries, a season to air the house out and do a through cleaning to start the new year. To kick off the 2013 spring cleaning season we are rolling out our latest Clean Freaks Spring Cleaning Guide Video, a step by step spring cleaning guide that is sure to get you motivated!

Hopefully after that you are ready and inspired to do some deep cleaning of your own! Before you do, here are some easy ways to make sure your spring cleaning goes as smoothly as possible:

  1. Make your list. You’ll actually need to make a couple. First you’ll need a cleaning list, check out our free printable one here: Then you’ll need to make a list of the supplies you’ll need to get the job done. That way you won’t be running out to the store for more window cleaner halfway through the day.
  2. Pick a day. Be generous when estimating the time it will take to complete everything on your list. You might put aside a Saturday or a whole weekend just depending on how long that list is.
  3. Enlist your troops. Family and friends will help if you ask and if you sweeten the deal with a couple of pizzas and some drinks they will do it with a smile.
  4. Make a follow up plan. It’s likely that you will purge a lot of “stuff” during the spring cleaning process that you won’t want to put back into your perfectly clean and organized home. Make a plan ahead of time to deal with the excess. Schedule a charity pickup or plan a yard sale for some extra cash!

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning!

March 8, 2013 by Dallas Maids

Today we are going to tackle a time honored clean freak tradition: spring cleaning! After a long winter of stuffiness and gloom it’s so nice to give your home a deep, refreshing clean from top to bottom! Of course any time of year can be a good time for a deep clean and with these easy tips you might want to do it more than once a year! Don’t be intimidated, we’ll take it one room at a time. Ready? Let’s get started!

 

Bedrooms

The heart of the bedroom is of course the bed, so let’s start there. Remove all of the sheets, comforters, bed skirts, pillows, pillowcases and the mattress pad. Strip that bed! All of the bedding goes to wash; you should take down the curtains too! If you don’t want to be bothered with all of that laundry you might take it all to the laundry mat and finish quickly. Next step, we flip the mattress. We like to open the windows and let all of that spring air and sunshine in while we work! Now it’s time to bust clutter and organize from top to bottom. Pull everything out of the closets. Have boxes and bags handy for items you may decide to donate or toss. Items that need to be mended should go in a separate pile. Winter clothes can be set aside for cleaning and storage.

 

Bathrooms

One of the most cluttered areas of any bathroom can be the medicine cabinet. Go through all of the medicine and items, checking the expiration dates. Dispose of expired medication or medication that isn’t properly labeled by placing it into a plastic bag and throwing it in the trash, NOT by flushing it down the toilet as this contaminates water supplies. Another clutter magnet is the bathroom counter; consolidate those half empty cosmetic bottles and jars. Toss the empties and also dispose of any product that has changed color, texture or that smells funny. Wash your shower curtain and replace the liner if necessary. You should also wash the bathroom rugs and hang them to dry.

 

The Kitchen

Head straight for the pantry and cabinets, toss any food or spices that are past their expiration date. Same goes for the items in the fridge. Wipe the shelves in the cabinets and the refrigerator with a damp rag and a little product before replacing the good food. Next you can defrost the freezer if it’s not one that’s frost-free, and clean the inside thoroughly. Clean the oven and the burner drip pans. Go the extra mile and clean the vent filter and the vent hood too!  If you are able to move the large kitchen appliances to clean the floor underneath them now is the time to do so.

 

Around the House

Now that we’ve conquered the specific tasks for specific rooms, here are some things you can do throughout the house to get that perfect spring clean!

-Wash the windows inside and out

-Wash throw pillows if possible or at least set them outside to air out

-Wash area rugs or hang them outside to beat the dust out!

-If your window screens are dirty, remove them, wash them and put them back in place

-Move any large furniture so that you can vacuum or sweep underneath

 

A thorough spring cleaning renews your home and your spirit for a new year, so take the time to do it right. That’s it for this edition of Clean Freaks and as always: if it sounds like too much work just call Dallas Maids!

 

 

 

 

How to Be the Best Maid Service in Dallas – Our “Secret” Recipe

March 4, 2013 by admin

Dallas Maids Green

There are a LOT of cleaning services in Dallas; competition is fierce but for years Dallas Maids has been above the fray. How do we stay on top year after year? Our “secret recipe” isn’t a really a secret, ask our happy customers and they will tell you: Dallas Maids has the best people, the best service, the best value in maid service in Dallas since 2004.

The Best People

We turn away wonderful housekeepers all the time… because we only hire exceptional housekeepers. They have to absolutely “wow” us with spectacular references, outstanding experience and perfect people skills. If they can get past that initial interview then they still have to pass a thorough background check and it better be spotless. From there they go to maid training boot camp until we are 100% sure that they are ready to join our elite team of maids.

Sounds exhausting right? You can be sure that anyone that goes through all that trouble must really want to work for Dallas Maids. And why wouldn’t they? We don’t cut any corners when it comes to taking care of our staff, we know that a great work environment and fair treatment are the keys to keeping our good people at Dallas Maids for years to come. We have an incredibly low employee turnover rate and that’s because:

  1. We pay them what they are worth. We hate it when we get wind of a maid service in Dallas that is paying minimum wage. We want all of our employees to earn enough to live a dignified life and provide well for their families.
  2. We treat them fairly. We do everything in our power to provide our employees with a safe, enjoyable working environment. Everyone from management on down to our customers are expected to treat our housekeepers with respect.
  3. We show them our appreciation. From bonuses to promotions to company events, we let our people know that we appreciate their hard work!

The Best Service

We are obsessed with great customer service. Here are some ways we are setting the customer service bar for every other maid service in Dallas:

  1. Killer Communication. We make it so easy to get in touch and stay connected. On any given day we are talking to clients on the phone, on Facebook, on our live chat via our website (http://www.dallasmaids.com ) … we are totally wired for every client! Our site is set up for easy viewing on mobile devices and you can find us on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, all over the web!
  2. Fuss Free Booking. Our friendly office staff make setting up service so easy; from a free quote right over the phone to our full range of convenient payment options booking couldn’t be simpler!
  3. The Perfect Clean. Cleaning is what we are best at and nobody does it better than Dallas Maids! Top to bottom, room by room, every surface of every home gets cleaned and polished to perfection. We are so confident about the quality of our cleaning service that we guarantee our client’s satisfaction every time.
  4. VIP Treatment! Our customers are very important people and we make sure they know it;  every client gets personalized service to fit their specific needs, availability and budget. If they have special requests, we happily accommodate them; if they have questions, we have cheerful answers; if they aren’t 100% satisfied, we make it right and don’t quit until they are happy customers!

The Best Value in Maid Service in Dallas

We don’t cut corners: we arm the best people with the best equipment and training, then we back them up with stellar customer service and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. A lot of cleaning services try to take shortcuts like using low quality cleaning products or hiring contract workers; they gamble with their client’s home and possessions by sending untrained workers to clean. You’d be surprised how many of these companies don’t have insurance to protect their clients and how many don’t bother running background checks because they don’t want to pay the fee for the report.

Dallas Maids is built on rock solid moral and ethical values like integrity, transparency and accountability. We work hard to earn our client’s trust and then work twice as hard to keep it. You won’t find a faceless corporation or franchise here; we are from Dallas, we love Dallas and Dallas loves us back!

 

Ten Minute Fast Clean

March 1, 2013 by Dallas Maids

Have you ever received a call from a friend on a lazy Saturday saying they are going to stop by to visit? Hopefully you didn’t hang up only to look around in dismay at an untidy home. It has happened to the best of us at times. Unexpected visitors can unnerve even veteran clean freaks. In this video we will show you how to clean for unplanned company in 10 minutes flat. No time to waste, let’s get started.

Pick a Space

Decide quickly where you will be receiving your visitor. Where will you be spending time with them? Usually this is the living room. Almost all of your efforts will go into this room. You will be shutting the doors on the rest of the rooms, so you can forget for the moment that they exist.

Hide the clutter

Get a big container; a box, a garbage bag or a laundry basket will do. Place everything that is not supposed to be in that room in the container. Don’t waste time separating, you can do that later. Make a very rapid sweep of the room, collecting any items on the couches, floors, tables and anywhere else easily in sight of where your guest will be. Once you have gathered everything, stick the container in another room and shut the door.

Grab a rag

. . . And a spray bottle type cleaning product like glass cleaner or multi surface cleaner. Wipe down the tables and surfaces in your chosen area.

Hit the bathroom

Your guest may visit your bathroom at some point so you will want to make sure it gets a once over too. Collect clutter from the counters and floors and either toss it into a cabinet or hide it in another room. Spray some product in your toilet bowl and while it soaks use your rag and spray bottle to quickly wipe down the counters and sink. Close your shower door or shower curtain to block any view of the shower area. Give your toilet bowl a very fast scrub, wipe down the seat with your rag and toss it in the trash on your way out.

Finishing touches

If at all possible, dim the lights in the area you just tidied up. Not that you should receive your guests in the dark but dimmer light is more forgiving to areas you may have missed. Light some scented candles; it will look festive and smell nice. Aerosol air freshener will work if you don’t have candles on hand. You can also try to create a distraction by turning on the television or setting out some no-fuss food you may have on hand.

Your 10 minutes should be up by now but if your guest has still not arrived here are a few more things you can squeeze in while you wait:

-If you have a lot of dirty dishes in the kitchen you can stick them in the oven

-Sweep the floor in your chosen room or vacuum very quickly there

-Take a second to change clothes or get spruced up yourself, after all it’s you that your guest is coming to see!

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

 

 

 

Getting Rid of Fleas

February 23, 2013 by Dallas Maids

Today we will tackle a tough and common problem for pet owners: fleas in the carpet.

If you have pets it’s almost inevitable that at some point you will have a flea problem. Unless your animal never leaves the house those sneaky critters will hitch a ride and make themselves at home in your carpet and furniture. They multiply quickly so as soon as you see that first flea you should start treating your home and your pet!

Feeling itchy yet? Let’s get started!

Vacuum to Victory

When waging a war on fleas your vacuum is your best ally. Vacuum all of the carpet in your home daily while you have an active flea infestation. You can put a flea collar in the bag of your vacuum to maximize the effect.  You should give special attention to areas where your pet spends a lot of time, going over those areas several times. Make sure to vacuum under furniture as well. When you are done vacuuming for the day it is absolutely necessary that you throw away the sealed vacuum bag, wrap it in plastic and throw it in an outside garbage can. If you don’t the fleas can easily escape and you may end up depositing them into other areas of your home!

Rugs and Mats

You should wash all of your rugs and mats thoroughly and often while you are fighting a flea infestation. Make sure they are completely dry before putting them back in place, fleas thrive in moisture. If you have rugs that have to be professionally cleaned you may want to store them until your home is flea-free.

Treat the Area

There are lots of great products you can use to fight fleas in carpet. When purchasing any flea pesticide, make sure it is labeled as containing ingredients that not only kill fleas but their eggs as well. Most of the available products can be grouped into 3 categories:

Bombs and Foggers

These little devices are great for treating an entire room at a time, or even the whole house. You should close all doors and windows before you bomb. Turn off the central heat or air and if possible you should close off the vents as well. Then basically you press a button on the fogger or bomb to set it and then leave the area immediately; closing the door behind you. The device then sprays insect-killing vapors into the air. Make sure to read the instructions on your particular bombs or foggers very carefully. You will need to remove your pets from the home when you set the bombs, and the whole family will need to be out of the house while the vapor does its job. 

Sprays

Spray products can be great for spot treating or for cleaning those hard-to-reach areas. Your veterinarian should be able to recommend a good one.

Powders

Anti-flea powders are excellent as an ongoing treatment for flea infestations in carpet. You might also try Borax, an all-purpose cleaning powder that can be very effective against fleas. You simply sprinkle it all over the carpet, work it in with a brush or a broom and then let it sit without vacuuming for a day or two. It’s not harmful to pets so you can rest easy.

Now that you have an arsenal of products and tricks at your disposal you are sure to win the war against the fleas in your carpet. Of course treating the carpet is just one step to having your home flea-free. You will need to treat your pet and possibly other areas or items in your home before you can declare victory. That’s it for this edition of Clean Freaks and as always: if it sounds like too much work just call Dallas Maids!

 

 

 

 

Removing Pet Hair

February 14, 2013 by Dallas Maids

We all love our pets, we care for them and see them as family members. But what can you do when the furriest member of your family turns your regular carpet into a mohair shag rug? Depending on the breed of your pet and the season dealing with pet hair in your carpet can be overwhelming.

Here quickly are several methods of removing pet hair from upholstery and carpets.

Rake

This nifty item is called a pet rake but it’s really more like a brush. You can pick one up at pet stores or major department stores. It’s pretty simple, you just brush it slowly across the area with pet hair and it should pick the hair up with it’s bristles. You can clean the brush as you go, removing the pet hair with your hand and collecting it in a small trash bag. You might also try a velour brush if you can’t find a pet rake.

Tape Sticky

tape is great for picking up pet hair in small areas or off of clothing. You can use almost any kind of tape except for duct tape or similar tapes because those may leave a gummy substance on fabrics. Masking tape works great. Simply make a loop around your hand and then lightly pat the surface you are trying to clean. The hair should come right up! When the tape loses it’s stickiness it’s time to get a fresh loop and start again. Toss the furry tape into the trash as you go. You may be able to find a special tape roller made just for this purpose in pet stores.

Shoes and Sponges

In a pinch the rubber bottom of a clean tennis shoe will pick up pet hair nicely. The same goes for a slightly damp, clean sponge. Just make sure whatever you are using it on won’t be damaged by the moisture. Another possibility is a “pet sponge”, you can find them at pet stores or home improvement stores. Those are used dry to pick up hair.

Your Vacuum

Not every vacuum is equipped to take on the challenge of a pet hair problem. Your vacuum will need to have a good beater brush or brush roll also a brush attachment can be useful for hard to reach areas or furniture. Remember to empty the bag often if your vacuum has one!

Pet hair removal may be the price to pay for the joy that owning an animal can bring to your life. Now at least you have an arsenal of tricks to win the pet hair war. That’s it for this edition of Clean Freaks and as always: if it sounds like too much work just call Dallas Maids!

 

Free Printable Spring Cleaning To Do List and Calender!

February 13, 2013 by admin

It’s almost that time of year! March on the blog will be a month long marathon of deep cleaning tips and posts but we thought we might give our readers these neat spring cleaning printables to get everyone in the mood… A sort of Valentine’s Day present from us to you! The first one is our original, printable Spring Cleaning To Do list, pretty as a spring day!

spring_cleaning_to_do_list1_mini

Click to Get it!

That list covers all the deep cleaning tasks you’ll want to add to your regular cleaning to make it a super spring deep clean! It’s broken up by room to make it even easier. This is the list we use at Dallas Maids when we do a spring cleaning/deep clean. You can block off a day and knock out all the items at once but if you’d like to break it up we suggest our beautiful printable calender for March. Just print it, write tasks from the to do lists on different days and stick it on your fridge!

march calender dallas maids

Get it Now!

There you have it, pretty sping cleaning printables to print, share and enjoy! Hopefully you are feeling inspired and motivated to take on a top to bottom clean in March; if not we’d be happy to do the dirty work just give us a call! Spring cleaning spots fill up fast so reserve yours now!

7 Steps to a Clean Smelling House

February 12, 2013 by admin

clean smelling

“Clean” is not measured by sight alone, our sense of smell can play a huge role in how clean we perceive a space to be. Of course, just cleaning on a regular basis contributes to a clean smelling house, but what about those stubborn odors? It can be frusturating and even down right embarrassing  but not to worry, we have tips for the most common yucky smells you might come across:

Bad Smell Culprit #1 – The Garbage Can

Ok, so taking the trash out regularly is the most obvious fix. Also try using cans with lids or tops as opposed to open top styles. Don’t throw anything that already has a strong bad odor in the indoor trash, better take it outside! If there is a lingering bad smell even after you take the trash out it’s time to scrub the can with a good disinfectant cleaner or if you’d like to go natural try vinegar!

Bad Smell Culprit #2- Pet Odors

This is really a polite blanket term for a couple different smells. If it’s your pets themselves that stink, then it’s bathtime. But if Fido smells like roses it could be the carpet or the furniture that is harboring the smell. Take action by washing what you can in the washer: cushions, throw pillows, slip covers, mats. Anything that can’t be washed could be taken outside and aired out on a sunny day, beating the dust out and vacuuming with a good quality HEPA filter vacuum can help too. If the smell is in the carpet try sprinkling baking soda, letting it sit and then vacuuming it up. Now, if the smell is from puppy or kitty accidents on the carpet you will need a good enzyme cleaner. We have a post coming up about that one (video too!) so stay tuned!

Bad Smell Culprit #3- The Fridge

There is nothing as unappetizing as a stinky fridge! Firs try taking everything out, tossing anything that’s expired or questionable then cleaning the interior with vinegar. Don’t worry, the tangy salad smell will vanish as soon as it dries. For really tenacious smells try a tray of coffee grounds or baking soda, the bigger surface area makes a tray a better container than a bowl or dish.

Bad Smell Culprit #4- Shoes

Funky gym shoes are a common perfume in teenager’s rooms. If they are washer safe toss them in! If not, or if you aren’t sure you can still battle the shoe sweat smell. Make sure they are totally dry by putting them out in the sun, then you can try putting a bunch of baking soda inside the shoes and leaving them overnight. You might also try putting them in a plastic bag and popping them in the freezer for the night!

Bad Smell Culprit #5 Cigararette Smoke

If you or a family member smokes there has never been a better time to quit! At the very least there should be no smoking in the house. That said, for tough smoke smells in the furniture and carpet try our friend baking soda; just sprinkle, wait a few hours and vacuum. You can try washing harder surfaces like walls with lemon water, add a few drops of lemon oil or a half a a cup of lemon juice to a bucket of warm water. *Bonus* For smoke smells in a car try kitty litter! Slide a shallow box of kitty litter under one or both of the seats and leave it for a week.

Bad Smell Culprit #6 Musty Closets and drawers 

Storage smells are best cured with kitty litter or baking soda, just pick one and set a dish of it in your storage space. If you have access to fresh wood shavings that is the ultimate storage deodorizer. To keep clothes smelling fresh and sweet in the drawer stick little bars of scented, wrapped soap amongst the clothes.

Bad Smell Culprit #7 Mildew 

To avoid mildew in clothes make sure you don’t put anything wet in with the dirty clothes, and the more often you do laundry the less likely you are to have mold and mildew.  For mildew in the restroom a good scrub with a disinfectant cleaner is key, again if you prefer vinegar you can use it just not diluted. Ventilation is important too, open windows and vents when possible.

Your Clean Smelling House

Now that you’ve busted all of those nasty hidden smells you can take it to the next level with a scented candle, I also like to wipe surfaces down with my favorite essential oil in a diffuser bottle with water. You can even just spray it into the air and the scent will last and last!

 

How to Clean Hardwood Floors – Unsealed Hardwood

February 11, 2013 by Dallas Maids

We are going to give you the down and dirty details of how to clean hardwood floors. What to do, what not to do, how to protect your investment and avoid some costly mistakes. Before you begin, you need to cozy up to your floor and determine what you’re working with.

The kind of wood isn’t as important as the kind of finish. The finish determines what kind of maintenance the floor will require. It the floor sealed or unsealed? If you had the floor installed recently then you should know and have the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations on hand. But if the hardwood was there when you moved in. How can you tell? If you press your finger against the floor and it leaves a smudge: it’s unsealed. No smudge? Your floors are sealed. Once you determine what kind of finish you have you can look up recommendations as to which products are safe to use.

Most new hardwood floors are sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic. This makes them water and stain resistant and caring for these sealed floors is a piece of cake.

The tips we will give you today are safe, common-sense maintenance for sealed hardwood floors. We will talk about caring for unsealed floors in a separate video. Let’s get this party started!

The easiest way to keep your floors sleek and beautiful is to keep them free of dust and debri by regularly dust mopping and vacuuming them. Use the attachment on the vacuum to get into the corners and along the baseboards.

When needed you can clean your floors with either vinegar and water or a product recommended by your floor’s manufacturer. Ready for the bad news? Hardwood floors are best cleaned Cinderella-style:  on your hands and knees.

You may be wondering: Why in the name of polyurethane would anyone do that? It’s because water is your hardwood’s worst nightmare. Working on your hands and knees ensures that you will clean a small area at a time and dry as you go.

You should never get your floors too wet, and you should never let them air dry. Most floor manufacturers do not recommend using “oil-soap” type products so avoid temptation. Those soaps can cause a gunky buildup over time and you just might have to pay big money to have your floors refinished. Also avoid using furniture polish unless you want to skate around the house in your socks. It’s very slippery! No need to wax these floors either, it will cause a dull build-up and it’s just not necessary.

Here are some quick tips on how to clean hardwood floors:

Pamper and protect your sealed hardwood floors…

  • Sweep and vacuum the floors often, ground-in dirt and debris can ruin your finish.
  • Clean the floors with a damp cloth as needed but not as often as you sweep and mop. Always dry the floors as you work with a clean, dry towel.
  • Use runners or area rugs in areas with high traffic. Just make sure they are breathable materials that won’t trap moisture next to your floors, also avoid plastic backings and keep an eye on rug dyes that could possibly bleed and stain your finish.
  • Put a welcome mat by each door to the outside.
  • Keep your pet’s nails trimmed so they won’t scratch your floors.
  • Don’t use ammonia, alkaline or abrasive products on your hardwood as they can dull or damage the finish.

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

 

 

 

 
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