I’m sure you have been reading about the invasion of bed bugs in some of New Yorks finest hotels recently well many people do not understand the dangers of the enemy that lurks within their beds – the dust mite.
These microscopic creepy-crawlies, that are invisible to the naked eye, feed on skin flakes we shed in bed as we sleep. It is not so much the mite but what the mite excretes that is the problem.
A typical dust mite lives for up to 150 days and excretes 200 times its body weight in that time the excrement includes a compound called guanine, that is associated with asthma, bronchitis, red itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, headaches, depression and a lot more allergic reactions.
A bed can have between 100,000 and 10 million microscopic mites living in the fabrics. Mattresses also contain:
Sweat and body fats – in one night a person can lose up to a pint of sweat and body fats
Bacteria and viruses
Skin – the average family will shed up to 1.5 kilos of skin in a year. Up to 10% of the weight of an old pillow is probably dead skin.
Keep your dust mite population down by airing your bedroom frequently. Low temperatures discourage breeding. Vacuum clean often to remove mite excrement and debris.
If you have children put their soft toys in the freezer for 24 hours every now and then – the cold will kill dust mites.
If you have asthma or breathing difficulties, only vacuum with a ‘Hepa filtered’ vacuum cleaner and many people recommend keeping carpet instead of laying hardwood floors. Carpets trap and hold allergens that you can vacuum up, but they do not settle on a hard floor and tend to stay in the air causing more stress to allergy sufferers.
I know this is not one of the more pleasant posts we have done, but as you have read about the ‘invasions’ in New York they do exist & can be a very unpleasant visitor!
If you really have to do this job, I always advise calling in an expert. Out of all the cleaning jobs in the home, this is one of the worst. If you have to do the job yourself, apply a strong paste made up with water and bicarbonate of soda to the oven walls and shelving. Heat the oven for 20 minutes and allow to cool. Finish by washing the oven out with soap and water.
For safety, always unplug a microwave from the mains before cleaning. Avoid spray cleaners as the liquid can seep through gaps to electrical parts. Abrasives and wire wool can seriously damage the coated surfaces of a microwave.
White vinegar is the magic ingredient that will keep your dishwasher ‘squeaky clean’ and free from lime scale. Pour a cup of white vinegar in to the bottom of an empty dishwasher and run through the wash and rinse cycles.
Over the years, professional cleaners have learned short cuts, tips and tricks that save time and money.
Here are a few of the common cleaning problems and their solutions:
Most people will clean a hard wood or tiled floor with some sort of wet cleaner that includes soap or detergent.
The problem is when the cleaning solution dries out, the soap or detergent is left as a sticky residue on the surface. As soon as someone walks across the floor, they transfer the residue to the nearest carpet where the stickiness acts like a dirt magnet.
In a perfect world, floors are vacuumed every day to cut down the amount of dirt and grit in carpets and on hard floors. The trouble is few us live in a perfect world and have to rush the vacuum round once a week or so.
Cheap vacuums generally have less powerful motors that give less suction and poorer filtering systems than the more expensive models.
This can mean that they blow out ‘dirty’ air laden with pollen, hair, dirt and house mites as exhaust, making rooms dusty again.
Most of the dirt in a carpet is trapped, dry soil. Hanging the carpet outside for a good beating is the best way to clear the pile of dirt.
Unfortunately, this isn’t possible with a fitted carpet, so vacuuming is the next best cleaning method, but won’t remove all the dirt and grime. Lots of people try a wet cleaning system – like hiring a machine from the local DIY – but this makes the dirt muddy and difficult to clean up. Beware. These machines are not necessarily good for every carpet because some shrink if they become too wet. Even professional cleaning firms sometimes have to call in experts who have the special equipment to do certain jobs effectively – like carpet and oven cleaning.
The best time to wash the outside of your windows is on an overcast day. Sunshine makes them dry too quickly and leaves streaks.
Add a couple of teaspoons of white vinegar to a gallon of cool water. Wash the windows with horizontal, side to side, strokes on the outside and vertical, up and down, strokes on the inside. This way you can tell which side any streaks are on.
Here’s an insider tip most professional cleaners would rather you didn’t know – washing all the doors, including your front door gives the illusion of a bright, clean and friendly home.
Good cleaning requires a systematic approach and organisation, so you don’t have to keep going over the same place twice and exert minimum effort for maximum results.
1. Cleaning top to bottom
The phrase came about for a reason. Starting at the top and working down means any dust or dirt you dislodge does not fall on somewhere you have already cleaned.
Apply the same rule to every room – start at the top, dusting the cobwebs out of the ceiling corners and work down to the floor. If you live in a house, start with the room at the top and work down the stairs floor by floor.
2. Getting in the zone
Break home cleaning down in to smallertasks – zoning your house and spending an hour each day in a different zone is a great idea if you are pushed for time.
3. Cut the clutter
Those ornaments, books and magazines just get in the way and gather dust. Make sure everything has a place and everyone puts away what he or she uses.
4. Keep your cleaning caddy close by
Having your cleaning kit to hand cuts down running up and down the stairs every few minutes and speeds up the job.
5. Sweet smell of success
Make your home smell fresh as well as looking clean and tidy. Leave some bicarbonate of soda in the bin. You can also sprinkle dry bicarbonate of soda on carpets overnight to absorb musty smells. Vacuum the powder away the following morning.
6. Don’t move – extend
Plug your vacuum cleaner in to a six metre extension cord so the cable trails all round your home rather than having to keep unplugging and plugging in.
7. Letting the dust settle
Tackle the dry jobs first in a room – like dusting. Then move on to the wet jobs like cleaning glass and polishing so the dust has settled and does not cling to any wet surfaces.
Fighting dirt is an endless war where you must aim to win every battle.
You must have the tools at your disposal to deal effectively with everything thrown at you.
First, you need a cleaning ‘caddy’ or basket – one of those plastic trays with a handle – to keep all your cleaning materials together.
Next, you need to gather your basic day-to-day cleaning materials:
Anti bacterial spray surface cleaner
Powder scourer, like soda crystals
A ‘greenie’ scrubber (thats the one with the sponge & one green side)
Small, stiff bristled brush, a toothbrush will work well
Small, soft paintbrush for delicate items
Micro fibre cloths – these are great for gathering dust & are washable
Lots of paper kitchen towels
Clean rags for applying polish & cleaning creams
Different coloured multipurpose cloths for kitchen & bathroom areas
Bin Bags for collecting rubbish & used paper towels.
If you are desperate over dirt and sad about stains that make you too ashamed to invite guests, friends, relatives and neighbours over to your home, this page will help put the sparkle back in to your life.
To make life a little easier, I’ll show you how a few cheap ingredients, some practical hints and how brushing up on your cleaning skills can make your home healthier as well as looking, feeling and smelling better!
Lastly, I will list my top stain busters for those horrible hard to shift horrors.
I read this short article recently in the August 2010 edition of Which Magazine.
This is an extract from the article ‘Three must have home cleaning products’ see go.which.co.uk/homeclean
Fairy Liquid Original has topped the Which tests since 1965 It proved to be the best value in 2009. It was best at removing grease & just a 2ml squirt can wash an impressive 48 plates – thats almost 11000 per bottle.
Cif Multi-Purpose Actifiz is the Which Best Buy Multi-surface cleaner, It was the only cleaner in the Which test that cut brilliantly through both tea & soap stains – plus its great at removing grease so it can handle any everyday cleaning task.
Lidl’s Formil washing powder does a great job of cleaning stains, keeping whites white & colours bright. Formil Bio is a great Value Best Buy, costing just 10p a wash – half the price of other Best Buys.
To see results from other tests on household products from sink unblockers and dishwasher detergent to energy saving light bulbs go to go.which.co.uk/homeclean
Its 10am on a Saturday morning, you’ve just got out of bed, you walk into your living room and groan…the couch, the coffee table are all in need of help! Is this another Saturday morning that you have to spend time cleaning and tidying? You wonder will this ever end?
Well heres a quick 15 minute clean that you can do, its not quiet as good as having a cleaner come in each week but its a quick fix !
1. Grab you basket with all your cleaning supplies
This always saves time ensuring you never have to look for dusters or cleaning sprays.
2. Have a large container
Remember this is a quick fix, you don’t have time to place everything back in its place around the house but you do need to get your living area presentable. So put all the out of place items in the container.
3. Take on the Coffee Table
Home Cleaning can be quick so just remove the unnecessary items, dust the surface, apply the polish and move on.
4. The Couch
Usually if your couch looks good the rest of the room looks good, so again remove any of the unwanted items, lift and fluff up the cushions, sweep off any old crumbs etc to the floor, rearrange the cushions and hey presto your nearly there!
5. Recycle magazines & books
As you are out and about all week you will have picked up newspapers, magazines & freesheets pop in your letter box so just drop them into the recycling bin and make room for all those bulky Sunday papers..!
6. The Floor
Now a quick vacuum or sweep and your nearly there.
7. Replace your basket
See Home Cleaning isn’t so bad after all!
Now you are prepared for any unexpected visitors!
Its almost impossible to make a cleaning supplies list thats suitable for every home. Each home is different & we all have our own favourite cleaning products, so what I’ll do here is outline a basic list under a number of categories.
The frequency you dust your home will depend on your decor, location, are there any allergy sufferers etc in your home. Hers is a good starting point:
- Microfibre cloths & duster – these catch dust without it circulating ion the air, there are different types the washable ones are probably best as you can reuse them
- Vacuum cleaner with the dusting attachment
- Furniture Polish
Ideally have a bin in each room, ensure you use an appropriate bin liner. Also have dedicated recycling bin in your kitchen or utility room.
General Surface Cleaning
All our surfaces get dirty to varying degrees so we need to ensure we have a good all purpose cleaner handy to take care of those spills & grime.
- All purpose cleaner
- Kitchen paper
- Scrubbing sponges ‘greenies’ those are the sponges with the little green layer on one side
Most homes will have a surface or two that requires special attention, here its best to follow either the manufacturers or suppliers instructions.
- Oven Cleaner – we like Oven Pride
- Stone / Granite / Marble Cleaner check with your supplier
- Leather cleanser
- Laundry Stain Remover something like ‘Spot On’
- Glass Cleaner
- Air Freshener
The floors are subjected to the most wear & tear in your home so again careful attention must be paid to keeping them in top condition. The best defence is to have a really good door mat at your external doors, something like a coir mat outside and inside we suggest a ‘Turtle Mat‘. They come in a range of attractive designs, are fully washable and really capture the dirt off your shoes.
Here you will need:
- Broom & Dust Pan
- Mop & bucket
- Floor Polish
Are you considering taking on a cleaner to look after your home?
Do you find you are spending your weekends cleaning and tidying?
If so consider Time For You Home Cleaning Services. Time For You Home Cleaning Services has been established in Dublin since 2006. We already clean hundreds of homes in Dublin; we have a large pool of experienced cleaners covering all areas of Dublin. Our cleaners will come to your home on the day and the time that suits you best, the ladies will take care of the cleaning chores that you request, ironing is also an option.
The hourly rate charged is a competitive €15.36 inc VAT & Insurance. There are no extra charges.
So why chose a cleaner from Time For You?
- Time For You Home Cleaning Service is established in Dublin since 2006
- We have a large pool of experienced English speaking cleaners
- We will work with your schedule – you pick the day & the time of the visit
- You will have the same cleaner for each visit
- You will also get to meet your cleaner informally before work commences
- You will deal directly with the business owner in all aspects of the home cleaning service
- We visit your home to meet & discuss your personal home cleaning requirements
We look forward speaking with you in the near future, or email us on email@example.com
087 662 4524