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Spring Is Here in Dallas! Read Our Spring Cleaning Guide (Part II)

April 20, 2022 by Dallas Maids

Spring Is Here in Dallas Our Spring Cleaning Guide Part II

Hello! We’re back with Part II of our Spring Cleaning guide!

It has been a crazy month but now we’re here to for Part II of this guide so you can create the perfect spring cleaning checklist that matches your schedule and routine.

Last time, we covered how to start with your spring cleaning, and we started covering two challenging areas: your kitchen and your bathroom. Now, we will finish with the rest of your home: your office or workspace, your living room and your bedrooms.

Always keep in mind that you can adapt this guide and add or remove areas and tasks as you deem necessary.

Before we start, here’s a quick recap of the previous article: remember to set your priorities because you might not have time to actually cover each nook and cranny of your home, especially if you’re doing this on your own instead of hiring a professional service.

You will need to grab your cleaning supplies as well: you will need basic cleaning agents (vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap), your equipment (a steam cleaner, a mop and a vacuum cleaner) as well as the must-haves which are microfiber towels, sponges, and any special products for delicate surfaces, such as granite or marble.

Now, let’s move on with the rest of your rooms. Let’s go!

Getting Ready for Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Step Four: Your Living Room


We all know your living room is the heart of the home and it’s not easy to keep everything in place. Besides, it’s the first room you invite your guests to spend when they visit you. The good news is, it probably takes less time than your kitchen and your bathroom.

First of all, you should declutter and organize your items. Living areas usually have a lot of surfaces, like your TV stand or your bookshelf. By taking everything out, it’s easier to wipe surfaces and drawers.

After you’ve taken all your items, start by vacuuming your empty furniture. Now, you have two choices here: you can leave it as it is or you can take an extra step and moisturize your furniture, especially if they are made from wood.

To do so, you should mix 1/2 cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of lemon juice, and wipe using a microfiber cloth. If you see any excess after you’ve finished, wipe again with a clean, dry cloth.

Next, you have your sofa and your armchairs. Here, you should be extra careful because each material should be treated differently. Some materials, such as leather and linen, need extra care and specialized products. Check the care tag for each piece of furniture, as well as the material and apply the proper product.

Vacuuming Sofa

Spring Cleaning Step Five: Your Bedrooms


Next on the list, we have your bedrooms.

Because this is a spring cleaning guide, besides your regular cleaning steps for your bedroom, you should also wash items like your pillows, your comforters, your weighted blankets and any extra bedding you’re currently using.

According to research, pillowcases have from 3 to 5 million units of bacteria per square inch after a week since the last time they were washed. Imagine what happens to the rest of your bedding! This is why you should definitely clean all your bedding. If you don’t know how, it’s quite easy!

For your pillows, you can toss them in the washing machine. Just toss a few of them at the same time to balance the load, and wash using cold water and a delicate cycle. Some materials such as memory foam or latex, should be washed by hand only.

For comforters and heavy blankets, check the care label first to see whether they are machine washable, hand washable, or not washable at all (which means you should spot clean them only). Usually, you should use cold water, a delicate cycle, and low heat.

While your bed linen is getting washed, you might want to tackle the rest of your bedroom. A rule of thumb for cleaning is to start from top to bottom. If you have any surfaces such as nightstands, TV stands, open shelves or vanity tables, give them a good rundown. Use your vacuum (using the brush attachment) and wiping with a one-part white vinegar, one-part water mix. Make sure you wipe everything out after you finish and that the surface dries properly.

Don’t forget about vacuuming and mopping your floors, of course. If you have extra time, decluttering your closet is a great idea!

Declutter and organizing your clothes

Spring Cleaning Step Six: Your Office or Workspace


Your office or workspace needs some care as well. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the number of people working from home increased remarkably and adapting their spaces to suit their professional needs.

Your current workspace at home probably has one or more of the following features: a flat surface such as a table or desk, some easy-access shelves or cabinets, and then a more private, secondary storage area. You most likely have a desk chair as well as a desktop computer or laptop as well, even if it’s not your primary tool for work.

The steps would be similar to the other areas. You need to take your office supplies, declutter and organize what you use. Then, wipe inside the drawers, cabinets or any other storage area. Wipe and disinfect your surfaces as well.

If you do have a desktop pc or laptop, make sure you clean them thoroughly as well, especially if several people in your household share the same computer. According to research, keyboards and mice are filled with bacteria, so take the necessary steps to disinfect those pieces without harming your computer, of course.

Electronics should be handled only using a microfiber cloth with the tiniest amount of water. You will probably need a small, handheld vacuum cleaner as well, and a soft-bristled brush. However, make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions first.

Cleaning and disinfecting the desktop

Spring Cleaning Step Seven: Your Floors


Of course, we couldn’t leave your floors out of this spring cleaning guide! As mentioned above, cleaning from top to bottom is the right way. By now all your floors will probably have dust and debris all over the place.

Pretty much all types of floors require to be swept and vacuumed first. Then, depending on the type of floor you might take the next step. For example, for cleaning carpet floors you might need to use an enzyme cleaner. For tile floors, you might want to scrub with hot, soapy water.

If you need a DIY universal floor cleaner, a 1:1 vinegar and water mix is a good place to start. You can add a few drops of essential oil for a nice fragrance. Vinegar works for many types of floors such as linoleum and tile floors.

Of course, make sure all these products are safe to use on your floors first. Don’t forget to test in a small, hidden area. Vinegar is a versatile cleaner but some materials, such as marble and hardwood floors, do not get along well with it, especially with prolonged use.

In this case, it’s best to start with areas such as your kitchen and your bathroom, which probably have residues of soap, grease or oil. If you have tile floors, you can leave your cleaning product acting on the surface for 15 or 30 minutes while you take care of the rest of your home.

Mopping Hardwood Floors

Bonus Tips


Now that your home looks like a million dollars, you must be feeling a bit tired but happy with the results. Here are some bonus tips so that your spring cleaning gives you the best results!

As we mentioned above, always test your cleaning products first before applying to the entire area or surface.

A good rule of thumb to start is to think of every area that you haven’t cleaned, and make sure they are a priority. This attention to detail is what sets apart a good spring cleaning from just regular cleaning. Areas and surfaces such as baseboards, ceiling fans, air vents, and windows, are often ignored.

You can’t do all cleaning chores and areas at the same time or with the same frequency. Of course, some areas demand regular care, while others need to be cleaned a few times a year. This is perfectly normal, but it also means that those areas should become your priority now.

Finally, remember not to underestimate the time and energy it takes to deep clean. By creating more realistic timetables, you will avoid getting frustrated or overwhelmed. The goal here is to make it a pleasant experience, and why not, even a fun one.


Dallas Maids’ Spring Cleaning Checklist Printable


Last but not least, we prepared a printable checklist so you can keep track of each task without forgetting. Feel free to put in on your fridge or in your agenda.

As always, remember this is only a guide. You are free to adapt it to your own household and cleaning needs. Each category has an extra line so you can fill it out with any cleaning task that you feel important for this spring cleaning.

Plus, each task has a small, empty space at the beginning. You can use this to mark each area as “completed” once you finish. Or, if you’re cleaning alongside friends, roommates, or family, you can assign a letter to each task to identify what each member needs to clean.

Remember you can share this article to your friends and family so they can get it as well!

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Conclusion


It’s not easy to find a reliable cleaning service in Dallas, but don’t worry. With Dallas Maids, we got you covered and our deep cleaning service is ideal if you want to avoid a spring-cleaning on your own.

Spring cleaning can be something fun if you take the time for it, and after you see the benefits of your home that looks like brand new, you’ll want to do it again soon.

Spring Is Here In Dallas! Our Spring Cleaning Guide (Part I)

March 28, 2022 by Dallas Maids

Spring is Here in Dallas Our Spring Cleaning Guide

Spring is here in Dallas after a long winter. Finally! This is the perfect opportunity to take a step back, realize what needs some serious cleaning and organizing in your home, and get the job done!

If you haven’t hired a cleaning service before, they usually include a deep cleaning service which is a must every couple of months, or right before an event or holiday is coming soon and you want to impress your guests with a spotless home.

And if you want to tackle this on your own, don’t worry! With our spring cleaning guide, you will be able to handle great results. It will take some time and energy though! We’ve split this guide into two parts so it’s easier to read and go through it without burning or giving up first.

Now, here’s how you can do it:


First Step: Before Spring Cleaning, Assess the Situation


Whenever you have a spring cleaning coming soon, it’s important to think clearly about what you want to achieve and what is not a priority right now. Some people enjoy organizing their cleaning by room, while other prefer to organize by task.

Think about the last time you cleaned each big part of your home and think how long will it take for each task. Then, multiply that times 1.5x: if you estimated 2 hours, think of 3 hours instead. We always tend to be over-optimistic when calculating the time it requires to clean, and 2 hours go by faster than you think!

It’s easy to get frustrated or overwhelmed when that happens and you start to run behind the schedule. It’s better to calculate extra time.

Creating a schedule is not easy. You can check our 3-Hour Weekly Schedule, but that won’t do it for a spring cleaning. You may use it as a template and start adding areas or cleaning tasks.

Spring cleaning means that you will have to reach areas that you probably haven’t even seen in a while. Make sure you have all the essential tools and equipment to reach everywhere and remove all the grease, dirt, and dust.

Cleaning Checklist Schedule

Step Two: Grab all Your Spring Cleaning Supplies


We’re almost ready to get started! Now it’s time to choose all your tools, gadgets, and cleaning products. There are many great products for you to choose from, but if you don’t have any, we can talk about the most basic, natural ones you can find in your pantry.

You can check the entire guide for supplies for Spring Cleaning from Emily’s Maids if you want a more detailed guide.


Vinegar

As far as cleaning goes, vinegar (or acetic acid) is one of the most versatile cleaning agents in your home. It is one of our favorite cleaning products and you can use it on pretty much any surface. Everything from removing pet stains from your carpet to cleaning your oven, with white vinegar you can take care of pretty much every area of your home.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another popular product, and for all the good reasons. In fact, it is one of the very few cleaning agents that can be safely mixed with bleach.

Soap

There are hundreds of options on the market. You should choose those with a smaller impact on the environment and on your own health: check if they are free of phosphates, ammonia, and/or artificial colors, as well as cruelty-free.

Microfiber Towels And Sponges

Microfiber towels and cloths work better than those made of cotton. They can absorb dirt and moisture better, which is why they’ve become popular over the years.

Your tools: A Steam Cleaner, a Mop, and a Vacuum Cleaner

It’s important to have good, reliable devices to help you get through this. A steam cleaner is a device that sprays steam, just hot water. But you will notice the difference when you start using it, as it can get through grease and dirt in an instant, especially for nook and crannies. If you haven’t got yourself one yet, look for a multi-purpose steam cleaner that works as a long-handled and handheld device.

Don’t worry about the price! You can get a standard, handheld steam cleaner for less than $30, or a steam mop with a detachable handheld unit for less than $70.

Of course, you will need a mop as well (unless you have carpet floors) and a vacuum cleaner. Make sure you replace the dirty water as you go, otherwise you’ll just be spreading the dirty water and going back to square one.

Special Products for Special Surfaces

You will need a specialized product if you have natural stone countertops (marble, granite, or quartz) and for glass-ceramic cooktops.

Last But Not Least: Take All the Safety Measures for Spring Cleaning

Since you’re spring cleaning, you’re going to be in contact with lint, dirt, and chemicals for a long time. Always wear safety gloves, goggles, and a mask.

Remember to open windows to let air flow, especially in small spaces like your bathroom.

Cleaning Supplies

It’s Time for Some Cleaning! Let’s Start with Your Kitchen


It’s a good idea to start with your kitchen for several reasons. Even if it’s not the biggest room of your home, it will probably take the longest to clean. You need to let your cleaning agents act for a while, and your kitchen is one of those areas with a lot to clean and organize.

Now that you’re in your kitchen, it’s not easy to decide which appliance or area to clean first. In most cases, it should be the oven, because the cleaning agents need some time to act on the surface.

Check our 5 Easy Tips for Cleaning Your Oven if you want to hear all the details!

Take Care of Your Pantry

If you have the time, remove everything from your pantry and leave your counters empty. Make some soapy water with 2 cups of warm water and ½ teaspoon of concentrated dish soap. Apply using a spray bottle inside your cabinets and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. You can use a 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup warm water mix too.

While you’re at it, organize and declutter your dishware and cookware. Think of your everyday needs and organize your items in a way that you have the most used items closer to you, and then go from there and place the less-used items in the upper and lower cabinets away from your reach.

Cleaning Kitchen Sink
Deep Cleaning Your Fridge

The same goes for your fridge: grab all your food and take it out, remove all the fridge shelves and drawers, and apply your cleaning mix. If it has liquid stains (e.g., tomato sauce, meat juice) you can use your steam cleaner to get rid of them.

Clean all your shelves and drawers using soapy water and a sponge while you let your cleaning mix act on the inside of your fridge and then wipe it out with a microfiber cloth.

If your fridge is particularly in serious cleaning issues, or if you have a secondary fridge that hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, you can check our Refrigerator Renew article.

By now, you should have a few appliances and your stove waiting for your cleaning touch. For your microwave, you can try our tip on the article from Insider to get it looking -and smelling- like new.

Cleaning Fridge
Stovetops and Countertops

In the meantime, wipe any big crumbs or food residues with a dishcloth. Now, grab a bowl of hot soapy water and a clean sponge and start scrubbing! Use a spray bottle with clean water to rinse and wipe out the dirty soapy water with a microfiber cloth. You might need to repeat the process and swipe the cloth for a clean one a few times.

For glass-ceramic stovetops, you should use a specialized product. Remove any debris first, using a glass scraper and very carefully scraping the surface. If you want to play safe you can use a sponge, but it will take longer and you will need to let sit the cleaning product for a few minutes before starting to scrub.

Last but not least, remember to clean your countertops! This is saved for last because you’ve probably used them to place your food and ingredients on top while reorganizing your pantry and your fridge.

The type of cleaning will depend on the material. Vinegar is an excellent option for laminate countertops, but not so much for natural stone (granite, marble, quartz) because of its acidity, which may cause staining.

Now your kitchen should be squeaky clean! Next up, your bathrooms.


Spring Cleaning Step Three: Your Bathroom


Just like your kitchen, your bathroom might need some time to absorb all the cleaning properties from your products and tools. This is why you might want to start here (or in the kitchen) while doing other tasks in the meantime.

The big question is: where can you start? Well, if all your fixtures look more or less the same (i.e., none of them is dirtier than the others in a significant way) then you should start with your shower. It has the biggest surface of the usual fixtures (sink, toilet).

A really good strategy for your shower is to add some hot, soapy water with a spray bottle, and then sprinkle baking soda on your shower pan. After 15 minutes, scrub using a clean broom, and then use the steam cleaner to soften up every residue of soap scum or dirt on your tiles.

With your sink and toilet, you might want to use baking soda, let sit for 15 minutes and then spray white vinegar on the surface. Clean using either a toilet brush (toilet) or a sponge or an old toothbrush (sink).  

For your mirrors, you can spray rubbing alcohol and wipe with a microfiber cloth, using an “S” pattern. You might have to scrub a bit harder right after spraying if you have toothpaste or soap residues.  

You can check our guide on how to clean your bathroom if you need a more detailed approach.

Cleaning Mirror with a Squeegee

Conclusion (Before Part II)


We still have so many areas that we need to take care of! Your living area, your bedroom, your office, and all floors!

Spring cleaning is an exciting activity, with a high chance of making you feel accomplished and happy. But that’s not the case for everyone: you need lots of free time, as well as mental and physical energy. If you’ve realized that it’s too much work, feel free to visit our booking page if you’d prefer a professional cleaning service.  

Keep reading our blog and wait next week for part II of this spring cleaning guide!

HomeGuide’s Best of 2020

March 11, 2022 by admin

We’re excited to announce Dallas Maids of Frisco has been chosen by HomeGuide as one of the “Top 10” house cleaning business in Frisco!

We are 100% dedicated to adding happiness to our customers’ lives by removing the chore of cleaning. It’s an honor to be recognized for our hard work!

Paul Mazzola, Founder of HomeGuide, writes:

Dear Greg,

I’m excited to announce that you’ve been named Best of HomeGuide in 2020. Congratulations!

We looked at dozens of other pros in your area, scored you on more than 10 variables, and hand picked you to be part of the program.

This is no small feat. In fact, the Best of HomeGuide pros make up less than six percent of all HomeGuide professionals.

Hard work deserves recognition, so we’re proud to offer you our Best of HomeGuide perks. We’re placing a ribbon on your profile and quotes so customers will recognize your achievement.

I’m honored to have you on HomeGuide and excited to see you grow your business. Congratulations again!

~ Paul Mazzola, Founder of HomeGuide

Cleaning Underarm Stains with Homemade DIY Cleaners

March 9, 2022 by Dallas Maids

Cleaning Undearm Stains with Homemade DIY Cleaners - Dallas Maids

Underarm stains are mostly caused by residues of deodorant or sweat, and we are sure you can’t wait to clean them and get rid of them.

You don’t want to see yellow stains under your arms or white stains behind your neck. Fortunately, most stains can be treated.

Let’s find out why they appear in the first place and, hopefully, fix them as soon as possible using DIY methods and ingredients around your home. Keep reading to find out more!


What Are Underarm Stains?


Underarm stains are noticeable, discolored areas in the underarm area of your clothing. The type of discoloring depends on the type of fabric and the color of your shirt.

If they are white or light-colored, you might see yellow stains. If they are dark, the opposite can happen and you will start seeing white or light grey stains.

They might also give out a “blurry” feeling to the fabric.


What Can Cause Underarm Stains


There are two main causes of underarm stains: natural causes and man-made causes. They are both related to the fact of sweating (natural causes) which, as we know, causes body odor. With time, they become bigger and more and more noticeable. Not only this doesn’t look good, but it can also affect garments that you like or even with sentimental value. You might be pulling a perfect outfit only to get it ruined by underarm stains.

The answer that we have is to apply deodorant (man-made). As we know, this mitigates body odor and adds a slight fragrance.

Sweaty Shirt

Stains Caused by Sweat


Perspiration is another common cause of stains. We have glands under our arms that generate sweat, which helps us cool down if our body temperature is increasing. It could be because of exercising, or just the natural increase of temperature in your city. Dallas can reach over 100° sometimes during the year!

Stressful situations also increase your body temperature, which translates into sweat. Work, traffic and running errands are all common causes of stress increasing.

Sweat also releases components from our body that we don’t need anymore, mostly minerals. The stain is produced when they come in contact with our deodorant or antiperspirant.

Whether they came from deodorant or sweat, stains are there and need to be gone.


Stains Caused by Deodorant


Deodorant stains are extremely common. They are caused mostly by aluminum. There are two main types of products that reduce sweat and body odor: antiperspirants and deodorants.

Antiperspirants contain aluminum, deodorants don’t. When it comes into contact with our bodies, particularly our sweat, they will decolorate our clothing.

With time, you’ll start noticing yellow stains under your arms. The worst part is that it’s not a one-time issue, it just evolves slowly with time, so you’ll have to act before the stains are too noticeable or permanent.

Natural Deodorant

Cleaning Underarm Stains with Homemade DIY Cleaners


The good news is that underarm stains are not permanent! There are so many cleaning products and techniques that you can use and the best part is that you can create them at home in less than 10 minutes.

We can go from easy/simple and start trying with different cleaning agents.


The Rubbing Technique for Removing Stains


The first technique is fantastic because it doesn’t require any products, not even water. Try removing the stain by rubbing it with a nonstained piece of fabric from the same article of clothing. Because you are using the same type of fabric, this is a really gentle approach to your garment. This is especially useful for delicate fabrics such as silk.

This works particularly well for white deodorant stains, not so much for darker ones. You should try this method before adding any other product: at worst, it will have no effect.


Try Hydrogen Peroxide for Stubborn Underarm Stains


If that didn’t work, hydrogen peroxide will be a lifesaver here. As you may know, water is a great cleaning on its own, and with extra oxygen, it will be able to break down components that cause decoloration.

To start, create a cleaning solution by mixing one spoon of hydrogen peroxide, two spoons of baking soda, and ½ teaspoon of dish soap. Mixing chemicals is usually not a good idea but baking soda reacts nicely with most -if not all- household cleaning products. Plus, hydrogen peroxide is just water and oxygen.

Next, mix these three components until you form a paste and apply using an old toothbrush, and rub in a soft, circular motion. Then, let sit for 15 minutes. Finally, wash your article of clothing as per usual. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

      


The Good Old Vinegar Trick


When it comes to cleaning, vinegar has proven to be a jack-of-all-trades. In fact, vinegar is a great fabric softener and it can be used to remove deodorant stains for both white and colored clothes.

White cooking vinegar will do just fine. All you’ll need to do is grab your article of clothing and soak the stained area (it doesn’t need to be the entire piece) for an hour. Next, brush that same area with an old toothbrush for about 5 minutes or until you see the stain disappearing. Wash the entire garment in cold water afterward.

Related: Vinegar, A Very Versatile Cleaner

Try Lemon Juice for Underarm Stains


Similar to vinegar, lemon juice is one of the most versatile natural cleaning agents. Citric acid is a popular ingredient for cleaning products and one of the easiest ways to obtain it is through lemon or oranges and you can use it for many areas or surfaces at home.

Here’s how you can use it to remove underarm stains: place two or three teaspons of fresh lemon juice in a cup of warm water. Rub it into the stained area and rub with your fingers or with a soft brush, in a soft, circular motion. Let it sit for about an hour and then wash using cold setting.

If the stains are still there, repeat the process before placing your clothes in the dryer. Remember, heat will set the stains and it will be even harder to remove later.

Related: Homemade Cleaner Recipes

Use Your Deodorant Smarter, not Harder


If you’re using antiperspirants, switch to a deodorant that has no aluminum so you can tell the difference. Now you can find no-stains deodorants that are specifically designed to avoid staining your clothing. Also, if possible, take a shower every night and use your deodorant.

Because you won’t sweat as often at night, your glands won’t be producing that much sweat, this way the deodorant can set on your underarms and perform better during the day.

You can try the natural route and go for eco-friendly or natural deodorants. They usually contain essential oils to kill bacteria and offer a fragrance, and something to absorb sweat (e.g., cornstarch, baking soda) and many people enjoy using them instead of “regular” deodorants because they won’t create stains. Take the time to test 2 or 3 natural deodorants, either homemade or manufactured, and see if you “click” with one of them!

Using Natural Deodorants to Prevent Underarm Stains

Take Good Care of Your Shirts


Good maintenance keeps many problems away.

Oxygen-based bleach, instead of chlorine bleach, is perfectly safe for both white and colored clothes and will soften stains. It will also make fabrics look brighter. Soak your clothes once in a while in a gallon of cold water next to a cup of oxygen-based bleach and you’ll notice an improvement.

Placing once cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle of your washing machine will work as a natural fabric softener. It will also help removing stains.


Avoid Underarm Stains in the Future


A good rule of thumb is that taking preventive measures always works great in the long run, and this includes sweating!

Wearing an undershirt is a great strategy. If you want to preserve your favorite garments for a long time, you could use white cotton undershirts underneath. They will absorb all your body substances (sweat, natural body oils, deodorant…) that may cause stains or decoloration.

Therefore, your most valued clothes won’t need to be washed that often since they won’t absorb smells directly, keeping them safe and sound for a long time. On top of that, you will also save on water and detergent because you won’t need to wash your clothes as often.

As for sweating, you can’t avoid that happening, for obvious reasons, but you do want to help sweat be as harmless as possible: wash your sweaty clothes as fast as possible as soon as you’ve stopped using them.

Also, wear comfortable clothing that allows sweat to leave your body. The better airflow, the quicker sweat will evaporate. Many shirts now come with a mesh fabric that allows for better ventilation, reducing the accumulation of sweat and body odor.

If you are working out at home, make sure you remove your workout clothes as soon as you finish and, if possible, hang them to air dry.

Applying Natural Deodorants

Conclusion


Underarm stains, either caused by sweat or by deodorant, are not pleasant to look at and can ruin your clothing. Taking extra care of your garments will make them last for years and years. Always try your cleaning solutions in a small, hidden area (the area behind your neck, for example).

Choosing the right deodorant will save you a big headache later on. And remember, if you want your belongings to last long and stay clean and sanitized efficiently, you can hire a professional service.

We ❤️ You

February 16, 2022 by Dallas Maids

I am excited to offer you an early Happy Valentine’s Day greeting. While the modern incarnation of this holiday seems to be bent toward chocolates, romantic dinners, and greeting cards, I decided this year to do a little research.

St. Valentine is a complicated guy. Supposedly he lived in Rome during the 2nd century and was a contemporary with the loathed Emperor, Claudius the Cruel. Fearing the flagging loyalty of his imperial army, Claudius outlawed marriage for all Roman soldiers. This decree went over about as well as you would expect.

Valentine, a minister in the city of Rome or possibly a bishop in Interamna (reports are unclear) bravely defied the emperor’s decree. He wed numerous couples in secret for quite some time. Eventually he was found out and beheaded for his “crime.”

The Catholic church lists two other possible St. Valentine’s – one who served in Rome and another who was a bishop in Italy. Regardless of the patron saint’s true identity, his martyrdom (all three were killed for their faith) is always connected to celebrating the special bond of love. We’ve come a long way since that time – Hallmark seems to define Valentine’s Day for us each year.

But this year I want to wish you a truly Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Dallas’ Maids. Whether you are single and simply enjoying and celebrating who you are or dating, engaged, or married and doting upon another, we want you to have a truly enjoyable Valentine’s Day. As you think about caring for yourself or someone you love, we have a special offer just for you.

Any gift card purchased by Tuesday February 15, 2022 and you will get a 2nd gift card equal to half the amount of the 1st. So, if you purchase a $500 gift card, you’ll get a 2nd one for $250.00, free! Just send us an email with your name, the purchase amount, and mention this email. Our sign of care and affection to you because you love. That is something worth celebrating.

From all of us at Dallas Maids, Happy Valentine’s Day – let’s go show the people we love how much they mean to us!

~ Greg & the Dallas Maids happiness team

Gift Card

P.S. Some of our previous Valentine’s Day posts:

Celebrating Dignity This Christmas

February 9, 2022 by Dallas Maids

Monse putting together customer's appreciation gifts

The holidays are upon us and I was wondering if I could start our annual Christmas letter this year with some data points? Festive, I know.

In 2021 more than 67% of Americans supported raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.00 per hour. In fact, that number has stayed above 60% for more than 5 years and only keeps increasing. Despite the country’s broad support legislation has either stalled or died in the halls of Congress under both political parties.

Meanwhile, billion-dollar corporations have capitalized on the pain and anxiety of a global pandemic. They have made over $1.3 trillion more than they had prior to the advent of the COVID-19 era. Billionaires have brandished their insane dreams of touching the stars. Meanwhile, our neighbors and friends wonder if they can continue to pay their mortgage, buy Christmas presents, or choose between a much-needed new pair of shoes or a long-overdue oil change.

As our nation shudders beneath all this economic turmoil and hardship, a personal story from just this week caused me to reflect and find hope.


What Dignity Means to Delfina


Our longest-tenured employee, Delfina opened up about her time with Dallas Maids with me earlier this week. Delfina has 15 years with our company, joining the team when we were only in our third year.

She has seen our highs and lows and provided consistent, quality service through it all. Yesterday she shared with me that because of Dallas Maids’ industry bucking pay standards, she was able to put both her daughters through college. She was so pleased to share that her choices were not between groceries or an electric bill, but between which Christmas presents to buy to spoil her children.

Delfina’s story isn’t the only one like it in our company. This year she is receiving her 15-year service award – a gold ring. We also have two staff members receiving their 10-year service award this month as well – a silver ring.

This is employee consistency in an industry that averages 300% turnover rate in a single year. Much of this consistency comes from the stellar leadership of Lupe and Monse. They manage the daily operations of Dallas Maids and their work has fostered an extended family atmosphere. Our team is able to divide the sadness amongst ourselves on the hardest days. This way, no one carries a burden alone and multiply joy in the brightest moments to celebrate things like children graduating college.

All of this is possible because you, as our customers, care about people. Dallas Maids is not the cheapest cleaning service in town. I know that – you know that. Google reviews certainly knows that! But for paying a slightly higher price our customers know that the service will be 5-star. And, more importantly, that not only will the cleaning artist cleaning their home be treated with dignity and respect. They will be the same person cleaning your home for years, having a chance to grow with the family.

The living wage in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is $15.21 for a single individual and $20.43 for a couple with two children. Our employees surpass that minimum standard of pay. And that is because of a robust company culture and a customer base that values not only quality but also dignity.

I have no political pull. I can’t meander through the halls of power in this country and actuate change that will lift so many out of poverty. But, I do own a business. And I can use that business to serve customers and empower employees to work hard while earning a respectable wage that doesn’t just enable survival, but thriving.

As Christmas approaches, I wanted to share this simple moment of joy with you. Your patronage at Dallas Maids has meaning and it provides real dignity. It sends children to college, buys Christmas presents without anxiety, and puts smiles on dozens of my teams’ faces each day. That is certainly a reason to celebrate this holiday season.

Merry Christmas,

Greg and the Dallas Maids’ Happiness Team

Covid 19 Update

February 9, 2022 by Dallas Maids

Covid-19 Update

I hope this letter finds you shaking off the fog of the holidays and enjoying your new year so far. December is always such an engaging and special time of year but it’s also nice to get back to routine and life as we know it.

I’m not sure why many of us feel that way but I think it has to do with something all of us found lacking the last 2 years: stability. I like to know things are stable and I can rely on them. Of course, life throws curveballs. But overall stability is nice. Then COVID-19 struck and we all lost that unspoken element of our lives. Our compass for navigating was off-kilter.

As 2022 started I want stability. I crave it. Maybe you are like me in that way. I am glad to report that since the initial hammer dropped in March 2020 we have been gradually getting back to normal with a few hiccups along the way.

As January begins, I want to be upfront and say we are beginning to experience another of those hiccups. By now I’m sure you know that the new omicron variant is widespread nationally but also within our greater metropolitan area. Mercifully this version seems to be less severe but on the other hand it is more contagious. With this new curveball I want to let you know what we continuing to do to ensure our teams’ and your safety.


Our COVID Safety Measures


  • Team members are asked how they are feeling regularly. In the event a team member has any symptoms of COVID-19 or any illness, we will have them return home until they receive a negative COVID-19 test.
  • We will communicate openly with you about the disruption that may occur. Our team will let you know that another staff member will be serving you. Or, you can reschedule your cleaning if you prefer. Either way we will let you know that health precautions have changed our plans for the day and engage you in how to serve you best.
  • We continue to enact safety procedures we established earlier. You can read more about them here: Dallas Maids’ Coronavirus Safety Procedures
  • We ask that all customers inform us of any illness in their home or known Covid exposure within the last 5 days. This doesn’t automatically mean a cleaning will be rescheduled. Rather it warrants a conversation together to assess the risk and help everyone remain safe.

All of this stinks. I get it. I want it to be over too. If we happen to contact you to let you know something has changed, I hope the instability of it won’t get to loud or noisy in your mind. Instead, I hope you will hear myself and my team saying “we value you and don’t want to make you sick. You’re too important to us to do that.”

If 2021 taught me anything it’s that the rolling of the calendar from one year to another doesn’t mean things instantly change. But as years pass, we adapt and become more resilient. I hope 2022 is insanely predictable. Like nothing for historians to write about. Just people working, loving those around them, and going about their business. But when life throws us curveballs, we worked together to take care of each other, knowing that a change today could mean someone is healthy and alive tomorrow.

Warmest Regards and Happy New Year,

~ The Dallas Maids Happiness Team

Simply Worth the Risk – Happy Thanksgiving!

February 9, 2022 by Dallas Maids

With Thanksgiving ringing in the waning weeks of the year, I hope this season finds you healthy, safe and surrounded by those you love and who care for you.

I’m also optimistic that this year the holiday will look more like we remember. Some things may still be different, vestiges of the journey we have all been on the last 2 years. Things may be different, but in their change we have an opportunity to practice gratitude in a deeper, perhaps more reflective way.

I read an article the other day by an 87-year-old woman in the New York Times. Having battled Covid and been vaccinated she is entering the holiday season with a fresh perspective. “I have decided that life is simply worth the risk.

”What a perspective to consider this Thanksgiving. Sure, we have all taken the precautions we believe necessary to protect ourselves and those we love. This looks different for everyone and really defies a simply cookie cutter approach. But that perspective also empowers us to fully lean into the holiday. Having done all we can to be safe, we take the risk because life is simply worth it. Family is worth it. Joy, laughter, quiet moments of contentment, connecting with others. All worth the risk.


Thanksgiving: More Grateful This Year


And knowing what we do now – that life is precious and full of risk – we can be a little more grateful this year. At Dallas Maids we feel that way. The last 2 years have been the worst year on record and the best (2020 and 2021 respectively). Two years full of risk, uncertainty, and yet somehow growth and working alongside you as our customers. Would I want to do it all again willingly? Not. One. Bit.

But the lessons learned along the way, that life is risky and worth it are something we cherish. From all of us at Dallas Maids we want to simply thank you for your business. Your patronage saw us through our darkest hour and has led to new horizons for us this year. In the midst of such turmoil, you decided that taking the risk of supporting a local business to meet your cleaning needs was worth it. We will never forget that.

This holiday we are grateful for each of you, and wish you and yours the happiest thanksgiving.

Grateful Regards,

Greg

A Holiday Letter for Our Amazing Cleaning Staff

February 9, 2022 by Dallas Maids

Christmas Tree

Happiness is a hard thing to define. It certainly is different for everyone in particular ways. We call it different things: joy, delight, elation, contentment, pleasure. At its core, it’s something important that makes life not just bearable but a feeling that things are the way they should be.

While writing about happiness, a philosopher described one part of it as “time without purpose.” No chores, no errands, no bills to worry about, no mess in the kitchen to clean. Happiness in part is the ability to simply be and do whatever you want.

Philosophical ramblings are great but what does this have to do with us? By cleaning the homes of our customers, you make happiness a possibility. Hours spent cleaning after a long day vanish. Friends can gather without the host being stressed about dusting. A quiet meal can be enjoyed in front of the television or with a loved one. Games can be played, books read, conversations enjoyed – all without the distraction of folding laundry, cleaning dishes, vacuuming, dusting, taking out the garbage and the thousand other little things that pile up.

Yes, we clean homes. More than that, we make home a place of happiness because it can once more be “time without purpose”. Time spent by our customers doing whatever they love. You make that possible – you make happiness, calm, and peace at home more likely. That is something worth celebrating and being proud of.


A Happy Holiday After a Difficult Year


As 2021 began I think many of us looked to the new year in hopes that it would be a turning of the page from the trials of 2020. In some ways it has been but in others it has been very difficult – COVID-surges, price increases, rising stress levels among customers, personal struggles. All layered on top of an already beleaguered nation. I know at times each of us has felt the burnout, exhaustion, fatigue, and sadness these last two years have laid upon us. Yet through it all, you endured. You kept showing up to work, serving with excellence, and getting things done. That is no small feat.

I want to recognize each of you for the stellar work you have done and more than that, celebrate you. This Christmas, I am delighted to give each of you a larger Christmas bonus. The government has forgiven the second loan given to us to survive the Pandemic and my only thought was to use that money to thank each of you sincerely. Everyone received an individual bonus that was determined by your length of employment and your overall performance.

The holiday season is always busy for us. People want and need clean homes amidst the busyness of this season. I know with great confidence that we will continue to provide great customer service and make home a place that can be full of happiness. Equally important, I want you to enjoy yourselves and your family and friends this Christmas. I hope this holiday bonus makes this Christmas more joyous, less stressful, and gives you a chance to enjoy time without purpose – happiness.

Exceedingly grateful for each of you,

Greg

How to Deal With Difficult Customers

February 5, 2022 by Dallas Maids

How to Deal with Difficult Customers - Dallas Maids

As a company that offers cleaning services, we get to deal every day with all types of customers. This can become a pleasant experience because human interaction can feel rewarding, positive and constructive. However, especially when interacting with people in a position of power, it can turn into a big problem.

Let’s read how to make our best to spot difficult customers right away and how to deal with them through every step of our service.


Prepare In Advance


Gathering as much knowledge about the situation before going in is a huge advantage. There are two factors that you (ideally) would know beforehand: your service and your customer.

The first one speaks for itself: knowing your service is fundamental. Particularly, knowing what are you offering, what are you not offering, what is considered an “extra” and how much you should charge for it, and what services or tasks are within the legal and moral boundaries of your company.

The second fact that can help you is knowing the customer and obtaining information about them (if you have the chance).

If this person has hired several cleaning services before, finding out why they switched is important. Was the reason merely a financial issue? Or was it a personality clash between the customer and the company? Did the customer cancel the service or was it the previous company?

Good customers will often remain neutral and objective when explaining why they are switching companies, focusing on the facts instead of their feelings. If the customer was not happy with their previous service, or if they are demeaning towards the previous company or worker, it could be a bad sign.

Prepare in Advance Researching

Communicate Properly With Your Customers


When talking to the customer, it is important to let them know a detailed list of what your service includes, if possible, with a written copy (emailed, available on a website, etc.) both before and after offering the service. You also want to listen if they have any questions or comments about the service they’ve hired.

Avoiding unmet expectations will help you avoid angry customers later on. Be clear and make sure the other person knows what they’re getting. Customers tend to assume or believe that certain tasks are within the service, such as watering plants, cleaning inside the cabinets or doing the laundry, for example.

These speculations will not happen if communication is clear.

Terms of Service for Cleaning Company

Listen to the Customer


Sometimes, customers have had a bad day and they just want to vent.

Active listening is crucial. Saying “hmm”, “I understand” while they’re explaining the issue, will make them feel heard and valued.

Another important step is to let them offer the solution. Listen to what they come up with. It might be just what you were thinking, but if you let them say it, they will be the ones deciding what’s happening next, instead of just having to “agree” or compromise to the solution you come up with.


Transform the Problem Into a Win-Win Situation


Even though you’d want nothing else to do with this customer after your service, while you’re still at it you need to stay professional and try -all within reasonable boundaries- to turn this into a positive outcome for both parties.

Compromising and setting boundaries are two good examples of positive behavior. Knowing when to switch between each one is a skill that can be improved with time.

Remember: when an issue arises, a difficult customer is usually in a position of “customer vs employee”. The goal here is to change this into “employee AND the customer vs the problem”.

This means that the focus should not be on the person that “created” the problem, but more on the problem itself and how to find ways to fix this and go from “bad experience” to “positive outcome” at the end.

Difficult customers -with a few exceptions- are able to change their ways, especially after a problem was fixed successfully and handled professionally.


Compromising With Your Customers


If there’s an issue and both parties have a different understanding of what the solution should be, there has to be compromising. When explaining why their solution is not possible, make sure you highlight the positive aspects of their solution. “I like the idea of…” “While I think it’s effective to do X…I won’t be able to perform this task because Y”

After doing so, offer an alternative. “However, I’d be happy to do Z if you agree, which will achieve the same purpose” “What if I do Z? This will fix the issue because…”.

Compromising with Customer - Dallas Maids

Setting Boundaries


It is important to set boundaries for a) The services you will offer as well as “extra” steps that you will do (e.g., repeating a task if the customer is not happy, performing a task a certain way); and b) To the way you and your staff gets treated.

While it is important to scale the argument down, once the customer gets aggressive or disrespectful is time to disengage from the conversation. There’s no need to yell or insult back, just walking away sets a boundary and shows them that you will not tolerate their behavior. 

Let’s say you and/or the customer have come up with a solution. Before proceeding, always make sure you’re on the same page with the client by saying: if I do this, will you be happy/satisfied?

This is a good way of setting boundaries. Otherwise, you may fix the situation but the customer will say they’re still unhappy and want you to do the same task again and again.

There’s a very fine line between spending a little extra time to ensure the client’s satisfaction, and spending hours and hours for a customer that won’t be happy, no matter what you do.


Avoid Negative Reviews from Customers


In the present day, negative reviews are not only word-to-word, but they are also present online for everyone to see (just as your positive reviews) and they do impact your business. There are hundreds of different companies competing to offer the same service, so each review counts.

This is why you should deal with issues fast before the customer decides on posting a negative review. That is besides offering excellent service, of course. Questions such as “What can we do in order to fix this?” should be asked when contacting the customer. In the long run, it is much more effective to offer a second cleaning service for free to “fix” the areas that the customer was not happy with.

Make sure you don’t focus on the problem or the person/people at fault. Instead, offer a sincere apology and offer a solution/listen to the customer’s requirement to change its opinion.


Keep Contact with Other Companies


Small businesses owners and managers, more often than not, know of each other and even have a cordial relationship. Healthy competition between companies is not only achievable but helpful because it allows you to share valuable information. And one piece of information that everyone should know is bad customers.

Sometimes customers are not problematic or difficult. Maybe they are not the right fit for your company, in terms of budget, type of service, standards, etc. In this case, referring them to a different company could be a good solution.

That being said, if you feel like they’re going to cause a problem everywhere they go, it might be smarter to contact the other company first about this customer and their needs and see if they’d be interested in offering their services.

Related: Working With Your Competition

Contacting Other Cleaning Companies

Earn Feedback From Your Customers


Even if your service was excellent, the customer will feel heard and valued if you seek feedback from them. If they were not happy with your service, make sure you take notes of every detail that they found unpleasant, and work on a solution to change this.

And if they did like the service, ask for feedback too! Ask for 2 or 3 random tasks that were part of the cleaning checklist and confirm that they were performed properly.

Ask for feedback regularly. For example, after the first service, the fifth service, and then once a year. Make sure customers know they can always leave their questions or comments through your communication channels, especially social media.

Of course, each customer may have different opinions about what they would change. This covers different areas such as performance, customer service, efficiency, and even what tasks they found unnecessary or irrelevant.

Growth is not possible without change and healthy self-criticism, and getting that from someone outside the company is more than valuable.

Related: Dallas Maids Picked as Local Favorite on Nextdoor

Don’t Be Afraid to Lose a Problematic Customer


Finally, if the customer is not open to compromising or expressing how they would feel happy, it could be in your best interest to let go of this customer. This is true particularly when they were aggressive or dismissive to your staff.

Serving people that were disrespectful without a valid reason is not a pleasant experience. If customers are important, the staff is just as important, if not more so. A happy staff will take care of their jobs and their clients on their own initiative.

Simply saying “we are not a good fit” is a polite and neutral response. It also allows you to stay out of any drama and, again, not focus on the problem, just stating the facts.

However, keep in mind this should be the absolute final step, and think this through before losing a customer, especially if it’s a long-time customer.

Setting Boundaries With Customers

Conclusion


Earning the client’s trust and satisfaction is not easy, but by communicating and focusing on the solution you’ll be able to keep the majority of good clients. And don’t feel bad if you have to lose one or two over the years!

Not pleasing everyone is unfortunate, but it is a natural experience in our personal and professional lives, especially when managing a company. Just make sure you did everything within your power to avoid this while respecting your company and your staff.

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