Bed Hygiene - Making a clean bed

On average, you will spend roughly one-third of your life in your bed, rolling around in the linens, comforters, and pillows galore and sweating a remarkable half a pint of perspiration just about every night. And whether you realize it or not, you and/or your partner are not the only ones sharing that mattress. Dust mites and bacteria are cuddling down into the surfaces along with you to wish you a good night.

Now that you’re good and unnerved, let’s explore some tips to make sure you are as safe as possible when it’s time to count sheep.

 

Proper Mattress and Foundation Care

In the hustle and bustle of life, it can be easy to forget your mattress, foundation, and bed frame need maintenance and TLC as well. Protect your mattress from sweat and stains with a washable cover and ensure it is laundered every 30 to 40 days in at least 55 degree or hotter water. While the cover is rolling around in the washing machine, lightly dust the mattress itself with baking soda to lift odors and allow that to sit for around 20 minutes before vacuuming.

Vacuuming your mattress will penetrate the porous fibers to lift the dead skin cells and dust mites that are living on the surface. Rotate your mattresses while you’re at it and check for any evidence in the foundation or frame of insect activity. Bed bugs and mites feast on dead skin cells and fresh bites and will leave behind black fecal matter and blood smears. If you are looking for a solution to bed bugs that is food, pet, and child safe, explore Diatomaceous Earth (DE), a cheap and harmful chemical free powder that kills these pests by absorbing the oily layer on their exoskeletons, effectively dehydrating them with a few hours.

 

Pillow Maintenance

If you feel like your pillows have become heavier over time, it is because they absolutely have! Your pillow can increase its weight up to 10% just with the build-up of dead skin cells, dirt, oil, hair product, perspiration, and saliva. To combat this haven for all-things-horror-movie, you should wash the pillows once per month and replace them entirely at least once a year. When washing the pillows, please do not use bleach products as they have been proven to cause allergic and even asthmatic reactions. Instead, use an oxygenated cleanser, tea tree or eucalyptus oil products, or other gentler detergents. When it is time to dry the pillows, toss dryer or tennis balls into the machine to help restore their natural fluff and discourage uneven balling of the fibers inside. Dry on high, unless the care labels state otherwise, to ensure mites and bacteria have been eradicated.

 

How to Handle Bedding

While your linen routine is a matter of personal preference, it is recommended never to exceed two weeks before washing and changing your bedding. Sheets, duvets, and comforters need to be washed in 40 to 60 degree warm water to eliminate mites and bacteria while preserving fibers, coloration, and patterns. Oxy powders along with detergent will go a long way to removing stains and perspiration. Beyond that, we strongly suggest you run an iron over the bedding after it is clean and dry as the heat will kill off remaining bacteria and allow the linens to rest on the bed neat and even.

 

Here Comes the Sun!

When we wake up in the morning, it’s easy to dive right into making our bed. Believe it or not, this discipline is not recommended. In fact, one of the best ways to have a clean and healthy bed is to pull back the covers for at least 20 minutes to allow body moisture to evaporate and natural sunlight and air to hit the sheets and kill surface bacteria. Before jumping in the shower, yank back the bed covers and let the magic happen!

 

There may be others areas of your home that aren’t getting enough attention. Check out 6 Areas You Might Not Be Cleaning.

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Thanksgiving is a special day of celebrations and traditions where family and food come together to celebrate. Even though Thanksgiving makes for great memories, the post-meal clean-up is not one of them.

A lot of work goes into pulling off a successful Thanksgiving. To make Thanksgiving a little bit easier we recommend following these tips to save yourself time and effort, so you can spend more time eating, relaxing, and enjoying the holiday. Also be sure to avoid common cleaning mistakes, so that you don’t have to repeat your cleaning efforts!

Before Thanksgiving Cleaning Tips

Having a plan is the best way to cut down on your time spent cleaning up. You can save time by taking cleaning steps as you cooking.

Here are our top cleaning tips for cooking and cleaning on Thanksgiving:

Clear out the fridge.  Before the Thanksgiving holiday gets ahead of you, clear out your fridge by removing old leftovers and expired food. This will help when you are looking for fridge space to fit your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Empty the dishwasher. Make sure you empty your dishwasher before you start cooking, that way you can cook and load the dishwasher as you progress. All make sure to unload the dishwasher before mealtime, that way recently used dishes and be put right in the dishwasher, instead of pilling up for later.

Recruit helpers. Make sure your family knows they will need to help clean up right after the meal! This way the expectation is set and they are ready to help.

After Thanksgiving Cleaning Tips

After the big meal is when most of the house cleaning takes place, but it doesn’t have to be a long or tedious task. If you’ve followed the pre-meal tips above, these post-turkey tips will help you get the cleaning done quickly.

Put those recruits to work. Take your team of cleaning recruits and assign them to different tasks in the kitchen.

Clearing tables. Have someone in charge of clearing the table and wiping the counters down.

Washing dishes. While one person clears the table, have another take the incoming dishes and get them washed or loaded into the dishwasher.

Storing left overs. One person can be designated to condensing left overs into smaller containers. Those dishes can then be passed on to the dishwashing team member.

Sweeping the floors. And the final step is to have someone sweep up after all the other tasks have been completed.

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When people think about how they want to spend their free time, they almost never want to spend it on cleaning the house. So when it is time to get your chores and house cleaning done, make sure you do it right so that it stays cleaner longer! We’ve gathered a list of the most common home cleaning mistakes that people make.

1. Too Much Polish?

Spraying polish directly into the furniture ends up making things worse in the long run, as it creates a build-up that is hard to remove and will only attract more dust. Always spray your polish in a microfiber cloth and then apply the polish.

2. That Sponge is… Gross!

Using dirty sponges is a worldwide problem. No, really! A study published in Scientific Reports found over 362 different types of bacteria on kitchen sponges. If you do not sanitize your sponges, then you are pro-actively spreading germs in your home. An easy way to sanitize a sponge is by microwaving it.  Fill a microwaveable dish with water, soak your sponge, and then set the microwave on high for a minute or two. The microwave is an effective way of killing bacteria, zapping 99.9% of germs in a sponge.

3. Smelly Rags

Using the same rag around the house. Same idea with the sponge if you don’t clean the rag, despite you spritzing it with a cleaning solution, it will only spread the germs from one surface to another. To avoid this, designate a microfiber for each part of the home that needs to be wiped.

4. Lighter Than a Feather!

Using a feather duster is okay, right? A feather duster can be useful, in some cases.  But as a method for removing dust from your home, it does a better job of spreading dust around your home. Limit using a feather duster to getting into small cracks. Do not use a feather duster on the majority of the surfaces in your home, as it does not attract and hold that dust, but just pushes it to other places in your home. Instead, use a duster that has a static “stick” that holds onto the dust or a damp microfiber cloth.

5. Let the Light Shine!

Cleaning windows on a sunny day can lead to problems if it is also hot out! The heat from the sun will dry your window cleaning product faster than you can actually clean, which will leave streaks. A cloudy day is your best bet when cleaning your windows.

6. Spill or Stains on Carpet

Immediately scrubbing carpet spills is probably our reflex when we drop coffee or Bolognese sauce on the carpet but do not rush to do that as it may twist the fibers on your carpet.  Blot the spill first with a paper towel and then treat it with a stain remover.

7. Germs in Your Cutting Board?

Washing your cutting board with dish soap is not ideal as the crack on its surface can trap microscopic food particles which can then become a breeding ground for bacteria. The best way to clean a cutting board (both wood and plastic) is to soak it in hydrogen peroxide or bleach solution. Wash with water and dry completely.

8. A Vacuum that Makes Things Worse.

Not cleaning the vacuum is a cleaning mistake because when the filter has not been changed or cleaned its ability to pick up dust or dirt will decrease, worst, dirt can also be blown back by the dusty vent.  It is best to change or empty canisters as soon as they become full. Wipe vacuum attachments as well with a microfiber cloth.

9. Crumbs, Crumbs, Crumbs.

Always take out crumbs in crevices before proceeding to clean otherwise it will defeat the purpose of you cleaning it. It is also best to use a “top-down” approach when cleaning, which means you clean higher surfaces first, which allows dust, crumbs, etc., to fall down to the lower surfaces. Then you can effectively clean the lower surfaces without having to re-clean them after dust lands on them from the higher surfaces.

10. You Touch That?

Do you clean your tv your remote? It’s not really one of those checklist items that most people have on their cleaning list, but almost everyone in your household will touch the tv remote.  That’s why it is important to sanitize your remote at least once a week.

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If you are a DIY type of person, read our other articles to level-up your house cleaning skills. To get a head start, we recommend learning about the 6 areas you might not be cleaning enough in your home.

At the end of a long day, an ideal night is probably spent unwinding while streaming your favorite new show. What’s standing in your way? Most likely a dirty kitchen countertop, dusty light fixtures, floors that need to be vacuumed, and a shower that could use a good scrubbing. So instead of spending more time with family or just focusing on yourself, you spend your nights wiping, sweeping, and working more than you already have. But life isn’t about those things. And you know that.

It’s hard being a busy woman. There’s so much critiquing of everything you do. Whether it’s your physical appearance, the way you communicate with others, or what your family is doing — everything seems to fall on your shoulders.

It may feel like everyone else is managing just fine. But no one can do it all on their own, and anyone who says they can, well, they’re lying. Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself. You deserve it!

Put your mind at ease and let Queen of Maids handle all your cleaning needs. You can easily schedule a cleaning session online, and let our certified cleaners take over the monotony of doing the dirty work. It can be anything from a one-time deep clean to a regular weekly visit to keep your house in tip-top shape.

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Cleaning a fireplace is usually one of those items that is overlooked, even in a deep home cleaning. It is important to regularly clean the fireplace as the leftover build up from fires can become toxic and can potentially harm your family.

 

Cleaning the inside of a Fireplace

Wait at least 24 hours since the last time the fireplace has been used.

Supplies Needed:

  • Plastic tarp
  • Old Towels or Sheets
  • Apron
  • Handheld Broom and Dust Pan
  • Vacuum
  • Trash Bags

STEP 1:  Prepare the Area

Lay a plastic tarp around and in front of the fireplace area. If you do not have a plastic tarp, old towels will do. Also, make sure to wear an apron and protective gloves. You may also want to wear old clothes as soot and dirt can be difficult to get off. If you have furniture close by it may also be a good idea to place sheets or towels over the surfaces to protect it.

STEP 2: Remove debris

First take out any metal grates that may be in the fireplace. Next, take any wood, tinder, or debris from the fireplace. We suggest wearing protective gloves to do this. Using a handheld broom sweep any dirt, debris or soot up and place it in a waste bin.

STEP 3: Get the small bits!

If necessary use a vacuum to pick up any remaining ash. Then throw away the debris into an outside bin.

Spot Clean the Brick on a Fireplace

Supplies Needed:

  • Cream of Tartar
  • Water
  • Old Tooth Brush
  • Rag

STEP 1: Make your mixture

Mix two tablespoons of cream of tartar with a little water to make a paste.

STEP 2:  Apply

Spread the paste on the brick with an old toothbrush. Then wait for ten minutes to let the paste sit.

STEP 3: Wash

After ten minutes use warm water and a rag to wash off the paste. If necessary apply more past and repeat steps.

Detailed Cleaning of Larger Brick Areas

Supplies Needed:

  • Baking Soda
  • Dish Soap
  • Tooth brush and/or larger scrub brush
  • Dish Cloth

STEP 1: Make your paste

Make a thin paste that is easy to spread by mixing 3 tablespoons dish soap with a half cup of baking soda. You can add more dish soap if the paste is too thick.

STEP 2: Dip and Scrub

Dip the scrub brush into the paste you have just made. Make circular motions on the brick surfaces inside and/or outside of the fireplace. When all brick surfaces of the fireplace are covered, let sit for five minutes.

STEP 3: Rinse!

After the paste has sat for five minutes, rinse the paste off with a cloth and warm water.

STEP 4: Repeat

Repeat from step one as needed.

Cleaning Fireplace Glass

Supplies Needed:

  • Stove Glass cleaner
  • Soft Dish Clothes (3 or more)
  • Water

STEP 1: Check before you start

Be sure the glass has already cooled and that the inside of the fireplace has been vacuumed and cleaned out.

STEP 2: Spray

Get one of the clothes damp with warm water. Spray some of the stove glass cleaner onto the damp cloth.

STEP 3

Next rub the cloth over the fireplace glass focusing on the stained areas. Once again, use circular motions as well as back and forth motions. You may need to apply some pressure to get hard stains to come off.

STEP 4

Continue to apply more cleaner to the cloth and continue circular and back to forth motions until all stains have been removed.

STEP 5

After all stains have been removed take a new damp cloth and wipe the surfaces clean.

STEP 6

Lastly, take your last clean cloth and dry the glass so that there are no streaks.

That’s it!

Cleaning ann oven usually involves harsh chemicals that create fumes and an unsafe environment for your family. We detailed a safe way to clean your oven with everyday products you likely have already in your home. All you need is a few items and a little elbow grease! I will list two options depending on the type of oven you have in your home.

How to Clean a Self-Cleaning Oven

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • Water
  • Dish Soap
  • Sponge
  • Vinegar
  • Small Brush and Dust Pan
  • 2 or 3 Gentle Clothes

STEP 1

Choose a time when the kitchen is not being used. Open windows and possibly doors to ventilate the room so that fumes do not bother family members. Make sure you will be home for the length of the self-clean. (The average self-clean cycle can last 3 to 6 hours)

STEP 2

Remove the oven racks and any other objects you have inside the oven. Set them aside. Place oven racks in the sink with warm water and a few drops of dish soap to soak. Vinegar and hot water can also be used as a soaking solution.

STEP 3

Turn on the oven’s self-cleaning mode. The oven door should then lock. If the oven door does not lock, place tape over the door or use another barrier to make sure that family members will not be able to open the door. During a cleaning cycle the oven will reach between 800 and 900 degrees Fahrenheit. The cycle will turn any food and grease into gray ash.

STEP 4

Wait at least two hours after the oven’s self-cleaning cycle has finished in order to let the oven cool down. Once it has cooled completely, sweep any ash out of the oven with a small brush and dustpan. Next use a damp cloth to wipe the oven clean. You can use a vinegar and water solution to dampen the cloth.

If the oven is extra dirty you may need to continue reading and scrub the oven with the solutions below under “Non-Self Cleaning Oven”. If the oven is now clean, continue.

STEP 5

After you have let the oven racks soak, scrub any extra food or grease off of each rack with a sponge. Rinse the racks and dry them with a clean towel. Then place them back inside the oven.

STEP 6

Clean the seals of the oven as well as the exterior oven door with a gentle cloth and hydrogen peroxide. This can also be done periodically to keep the door clean. And that’s it!

How to Clean a Non-Self-Cleaning Oven

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • Baking soda
  • Rubber gloves
  • Water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Damp dishcloth
  • Plastic or silicone spatula
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar

STEP 1

Remove the oven racks and any other objects you have inside the oven. Set them aside. Place oven racks in the sink with warm water and a few drops of dish soap to soak. Vinegar and hot water can also be used as a soaking solution.

STEP 2

Remove the oven racks and any other objects you have inside the oven. Set them aside. Place oven racks in the sink with warm water and a few drops of dish soap to soak. Vinegar and hot water can also be used as a soaking solution.

STEP 3

Make a baking soda paste. Mix ½ cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water in a bowl. Usually, 3 or 4 tablespoons of water make a great spreadable paste.

STEP 4

Use a sponge to spread the baking soda paste over the interior surfaces of your oven. Make sure to be aware of heating elements. This would be a great time to put on those rubber gloves in case your oven is full of grease and grime. The baking soda paste may turn a brownish color which is perfectly okay. Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies.

STEP 5

Let the paste sit in the oven overnight or approximately 12 hours.

STEP 6

Use a damp gentle cloth and wipe out the oven. You may need to use a plastic or silicone spatula with a little bit of elbow grease for those hard area.

STEP 7

Now fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spray the areas you still see baking soda. This will create a reaction and the baking soda will foam, making it easier to remove.

STEP 8

Do a final wipe down, removing the last bit of foam and solution from your oven. Use a clean damp cloth and possibly more vinegar to make the surfaces shiny.

STEP 9

Place the clean oven racks back inside the oven.

That’s it!!!

VINEGAR

Vinegar is by far one of the most versatile cleaning agents. Use it to remove soap scum from the shower. Mix it with borax to get rid of hard-water rings in the toilet. Tape a bag of vinegar to your shower head and leave it overnight for an easy, sparkly clean; or add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to your dish soap to eliminate grease in the kitchen.

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE

You use your toothbrush to clean your teeth, but don’t forget about cleaning your toothbrush. Let it soak in hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes to get rid of any lingering germs. Hydrogen peroxide is also useful on many hard surfaces. Use it to scrub your toilet, trash cans, shower, mirrors and doorknob. You can even mix it with equal parts water for a safe and effective solution for mopping the bathroom and kitchen floors.

LEMONS

The acid in lemons makes them a great natural cleanser. The juice is great for disinfecting kitchen countertops and cutting boards. Cut a lemon in half and scrub your bath and shower to remove soap scum. And if your shaving cream has left a rusty ring in your bathtub, use your lemon half to scrub it away.

VODKA

Do you have a mold and mildew problem in the bathroom? Skip a trip to the store, and pull out some inexpensive vodka from the liquor cabinet. Spray it directly onto the mold and mildew, and wait 15 minutes. Then use a cloth or small scrubbing brush to wipe it clean. And don’t forget to save a little for an after-cleaning celebration!

TEA

More than a favorite beverage, brewed tea can be used to clean windows, mirrors and countertops. Spray on your bathroom surfaces just as you would any typical window or surface cleaner. Then, keep your bags to hide in the back of the fridge. They will actually work to deodorize it. And if you need to remove the scent of onion, garlic or fish from your hands, cut a bag open, and wash your hands with the leaves to remove the odor.

SALT

Remember that miracle lemon that cleaned the tub? If your dirt stains are particularly stubborn, add some salt to the lemon, and scrub the surface of your bathtub, sink or toilet. Once your salt solution has done the trick, just rinse off any pulp and leftover residue, leaving your bathroom perfectly clean with a lemon-fresh scent!

BAKING SODA

Perfect for cleaning counters, sinks, drains, the toilet bowl, soap scum, shower doors, shower heads, and well, pretty much anything in the kitchen and bathroom, baking soda is one cleaning agent you don’t want to be without. For most kitchen and bathroom surfaces, a simple paste made of baking soda and water will do the trick.

DRAIN CLEANER

Though it is not a natural cleaning solution, exactly, a drain snake is an eco-friendly way to clean out the main source of drain blockage: hair. And if you don’t have a drain snake, you can still avoid pouring harsh chemicals down the bathtub drain by unwinding a wire hanger, hooking the end, pushing it down the drain as far as it will go, and pulling up hair that is keeping the water from draining properly.

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How to Clean Your Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is always hard at work cleaning your dishes, but what cleans the dishwasher? Often times dishwashers operate for years without receiving the attention that they need and required in order to continue to run efficiently and not fall apart. Out of all of the things in your house, often times this one is neglected. Here is a list of things you will need to get your dishwasher looking new:

Sponge
Distilled white vinegar
Baking soda
Screwdriver (if needed)
Dish soap
Toothbrush (for small to reach areas)
Microfiber cloth
Stainless steel cleaner
Multipurpose cleaner
Instructions
1. Empty the dishwasher. Cleaning the dishwasher while it is full just won’t work.

2. Remove the racks and and other compartments that can be removed from the inside of your dishwasher.

3. Wipe the bottom of the door and any dishwasher grates that you might have (the bottom part underneath the door). Often times dust and crumbs will accumulate here because water cannot reach there.

4. If you have a filter in your washer, it’s a good idea to clean it periodically.

5. Wipe the door seal and by soaking a cloth in vinegar, then wipe around the door seal. Make sure to get into the small areas with a toothbrush or Q-tip also soaked in vinegar.

6. Clean the utensil rack with a soapy toothbrush or dish brush. Then rinse and wash off the top and bottom racks of your dishwasher and put them back into the dishwasher.

7. Run an empty cycle with vinegar, this will help to remove hard water deposits and clean any other areas you may have missed during your cleaning. You can add 2 cups of vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher and run the dishwasher. Stop the dishwasher halfway through the cycle, and let the vinegar stand on the bottom for about 20 minutes. Turn on and complete the cycle. * Please note that vinegar is acidic and should be used with caution.

8. Clean and polish the exterior, sides, and all buttons on the panel with a cleaner that is made for the type of surface that your dishwasher has, such as a stainless steel cleaner or an all purpose cleaner.

9. You’re all done! Repeat once a month or as needed. Now it is time to move on to other tasks in your home.

5 Steps to De-clutter Your Dresser

HOW TO:

1. Start with a Clean Slate

Get started by clearing everything off from the dresser top. Often times this works best by placing everything in an empty laundry basket or box. All done? Awesome! You probably had more stuff on there than you thought! Take a look at all that stuff in your basket. Now you know what you’re working with and what needs to stay and what needs to go.

2. Dump the Trash
Take all of the stuff that belongs in the garbage and put it there! Do it quickly too, otherwise it might end up in a different spot in your home.

3. Dust, Clean, & Polish
Take a couple minutes to wipe down the dresser top and sides. Give some special attention to any areas that have built up dust or stains.

4. Return Items to Their Correct Place
Now look back in your basket and start putting things where they belong. Some of those items may need to be placed right back on your dresser, but this time they will stand free of the other junk that was originally there.

5. Make it a Habit
It will be easy to let your dresser get cluttered back up. Come up with a simple plan to keep clutter off your dresser! This can be done by having a “junk drawer” or a decorative dish that where you can place your smaller items such as keys, lip balm, etc.