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How to Safely Clean Your Smudgy Phone Screen

April 17, 2015

So it’s spring cleaning time and you’ve tackled the basement, closets, garage, etc. And, you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. But what about the device you carry with you every day? Mobile phones are little harbors for germs with 18 times more bacteria than a toilet handle. EWW!

If that grosses you out, make a plan to clean your phone today with these easy tips:

IMG 20150417 160422 300x300 How to Safely Clean Your Smudgy Phone ScreenStep 1: Power down your phone. Yes, turn it completely off and give that baby a break. We know this gives some folks nomophobia – the fear of being out of mobile contact. It will only be for a few minutes though, breathe!

Step 2: Remove the case if you have one and the batteries if you can. Some phones don’t have removable batteries (like iPhones), but if you do, take them out just to be safe.

Step 3: Use a soft, slightly damp cloth to wipe down the device. Try to avoid getting water in the speaker area. If you have isopropyl alcohol in the house for first aid, add a touch for disinfecting.  It also dissolves dirt and oil and dries instantly. NOTE: Never use window cleaner! And don’t use a paper towel unless you want to scratch your screen.

Step 4: If you have a case, you can use a drop of soap and water to clean. Be careful not to rub off any bling, of course. Rinse and dry with a clean cloth.

Step 5: Put your phone back together and enjoy. Well, at least for a few minutes before it’s smudgy again.

We recommend carrying around a microfiber cloth to wipe down your phone on a regular basis.

One last tip, cleaning your phone can mean more than just the germy outside. “Clean” the inside by freeing up storage space. Try uploading photos and videos to sharing sites and delete them from your phone. Uninstall apps that you don’t really use (we know there are at least a few), and don’t forget about old texts with attachments.  Those space hogs really add up.

Now take a selfie and smile into that clean phone screen! Happy spring!

How to Clean Mold From Windowsills

April 8, 2015

We’re officially in the spring season. The weather is warmer, the bird are chirping, the sun is shining a little brighter. And it’s time to finally open the windows to let in some fresh air. But wait! Is that mold on your windowsills? Ewww. Keep reading to learn Molly Maid’s tips on how to clean mold from windowsills.

04082015 moldy windowsills How to Clean Mold From Windowsills

Photo Credit: Andesine on Flickr

Moldy windowsills are unsightly and not good for the overall health of your home. But before you get started, to limit your exposure to the mold you should consider wearing a dust mask and rubber gloves.

How to Clean Mold from Windowsills

You can take a couple of different approaches with the type of solution you use:

Bleach Water: Use a mixture of warm water and chlorine bleach. We recommend following the directions of the bleach manufacturer to know how much bleach and water to mix together.

White Vinegar & Water: If you prefer to not use bleach, you can also try a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.

Equipment: Toothbrush, damp microfiber cloth, and a little elbow grease. Wet the toothbrush with the solution of your choice, and scrub with some elbow grease to break up the mold particles. Once the mold has been scrubbed, use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe the surface clean

Please note that mold can come back, especially if the conditions that made the windowsill moldy to begin with (a window leak, moisture on window panes, etc.) still remains. Fixing the moldy windowsill issue at the root cause will better prevent mold in the future as opposed tor regularly cleaning it.

Have a window cleaning tip of your own? Share it in the comments section below.

 

Molly Maid Bolsters Iconic Pink and Blue Uniforms with Pink “Mop” Slippers: A Breakthrough in Home Cleaning Technology

April 1, 2015

Molly Maid announced today that the home cleaning brand’s iconic pink and blue uniforms have received a touch-up, with the addition of state-of-the-art “mop” slippers.

03302015 mop slippers 2 final Molly Maid Bolsters Iconic Pink and Blue Uniforms with Pink “Mop” Slippers: A Breakthrough in Home Cleaning Technology

In homes from coast to coast, Molly Maid cleaning teams are now using this tech-savvy, pink-branded footwear to make cleaning more efficient and effective, as floors that previously were mopped the old-fashioned way are now being mopped “by feet.”

Lisa Mathias, a veteran home cleaner with Molly Maid of Missoula, Montana said of the new footwear, “What took so long? I mean, come on. Every step brings you one step closer to clean. Once you get used to how they feel with the battery pack, [the pink “mop” slippers are] kind of cute – in a high-performance, cutting-edge sort of way.”

03302015 mop slippers 1 final Molly Maid Bolsters Iconic Pink and Blue Uniforms with Pink “Mop” Slippers: A Breakthrough in Home Cleaning Technology

The breakthrough in home cleaning technology was discovered and subsequently brought to life in Molly Maid pink by the Molly Maid research & development lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The mop slippers were created in part, using research findings provided by the Healthy Floors Institute (HFI) in the Mopping Branch area of the Mark Twain National Forest in Beaver, Missouri.

“It’s no secret that clean floors help make happy homes. That’s why we focused our efforts on developing these new slippers,” says Meg Roberts, Molly Maid President. “When you combine form, function and fashion aren’t we all winners?”

What’s Molly Maid’s next R&D project? “That’s a secret,” says Roberts. “Next April 1st we will make another major announcement.”

How to Clean a Rug and Clean it Good!

March 25, 2015

Rugs harbor more dust than any spot in the house– especially when your rugs are located in high traffic areas. And while it’s allergy season, you’ll want to eliminate as much dust as possible by keeping your rugs clean and allergen free. Here are some important tips to learn how to clean a rug to extend their life and help keep your house dust-free.

Misteraich How to Clean a Rug and Clean it Good!

Photo cred: Misteraich on Flickr.

For pet owners, animal hair can become overwhelming. It gathers on the rugs, the floor and everywhere in between. If you have a long-haired pet, tending to the hair can feel like a full time job. For pet hair, vacuuming is the most efficient way to eliminate as much hair as possible. But if you need a quick touch up, try combing your rugs with a bristle brush to collect hair from the fibers.

For spots and stains, the best chance to get a spot out completely is to clean it as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more time a stain has to set in. For an all-natural, odor neutralizing spot cleaner, try using a concoction of 3 parts soda water and 1 part vinegar. Make sure to blot with pressure (not rub!) to uproot the stain from down deep. Be extremely careful when using shampoos and spot cleaners. Depending on the type of rug and material you have, (this goes for all carpets, too!) some shampoos and spot removers may not be compatible. Make sure you test the cleaner on a small area of your rug to make sure it doesn’t bleed.

After spot cleaning or shampooing, it is very important that your rugs dry completely before using them again. Damp rugs will attract dirt and dust far quicker than dry ones. This could potentially ruin your rugs by creating permanent stains. After the rug is fully dry, run the vacuum over it to get any dust that collected while drying.

To extend the life of your rugs, make sure you turn them every season. Like a mattress, you need to make sure the wear on your rugs is even. Turning your rugs will make sure that the high traffic areas of your house have equal wear. This will also even out any sun damage that might be wearing on the life of your rugs.

Finally, try implementing a no shoe rule– you’ll be surprised at the amount of vacuuming time you save when your family and guests aren’t bringing the outdoors, in!

For do-it-yourself spring cleaners, Molly Maid offers house cleaning tips and created a spring cleaning checklist to ensure no spot is overlooked.

To leave spring cleaning to the professionals at Molly Maid, visit www.mollymaid.com to schedule a cleaning.

 

Molly Maid Reveals Top 10 Messiest Cities in America

March 19, 2015
messiest cities in america

It’s Molly Maid’s favorite time of year – spring cleaning season! And just as most Americans are excited that the weather is becoming a little warmer and a little sunnier, many of us are gearing up to get ready for the annual spring cleaning ritual.

Molly Maid did a little research of our own and discovered America’s top 10 messiest cities. So if you live in one of these cities, you may need to an extra mop or two.

To determine which city led the pack, we ranked cities based on the total number of cleans performed by our nearly 500 locally owned and operated businesses across the country.

 

Here are Molly Maid’s 10 cities most in need of a deep clean, from the least to most messy:

10. Orlando, Fla.
9. Denver, Colo.
8. Seattle, Wash.
7. San Diego, Calif.
6. Atlanta, Ga.
5. Dallas, Texas
4. San Antonio, Texas
3. Charlotte, N.C.
2. Austin, Texas
1. Houston, Texas

“Houston takes the top spot in our evaluation of messiest homes, but residents shouldn’t be discouraged by our tongue-in-cheek ranking,” Molly Maid President Meg Roberts said. “With cleaning tips from the pros and little elbow grease, the entire country can be spotless this spring.”

Meg suggests prioritizing rooms and cleaning while resolve is high for spring cleaning success.

The kitchen, family room and bathrooms are the most dreaded and typically require the most work, so approach each space systematically by first clearing clutter, dusting and scrubbing from top-to-bottom and left-to-right, followed by sweeping.

For do-it-yourself spring cleaners, Molly Maid offers house cleaning tips and created a spring cleaning checklist to ensure no spot is overlooked.

To leave spring cleaning to the professionals at Molly Maid, visit www.mollymaid.com to schedule a cleaning.

How to Clean (And Lighten Up!) Your Purse

March 16, 2015

A woman’s purse can tell you many things about her. Almost everything she’ll use today, tomorrow and probably the rest of the month can be found in that bag. Men can get away with a simple bi-fold wallet, but women end up carrying a small suitcase — why is that? The difference here is the need to be prepared for any given situation. Whether it’s a broken nail, dry hands or an unexpected migraine, us women feel the need to be ready to handle anything that might be thrown at us. We save all receipts “just in case” and always have tissue for anyone around us who might sneeze. This reason alone is why the purse tends to be the hardest place to keep clean. In honor of all the moms and busy working women out there, here are five tips to clean and lighten your purse to help you keep up with on-the-go demands of life.

Romana Correale How to Clean (And Lighten Up!) Your Purse

Photo cred: Romana Correale

 

  1. Remove any items you haven’t used in the past five days. Chances are, if you haven’t used that cold medicine at the bottom of your bag in the past week, you won’t be needing it today either. Toss it out and keep the miscellaneous stuff at the bottom of your bag to a minimum.
  2. Check for duplicates: Consider whether or not you need two types of Chap Stick, hand lotions or pens. You’ll be surprised at the amount of extras you have. Remember: Only put pens in your purse that have caps. This will help you avoid an ink disaster!
  3. Switch to travel size items: Instead of carrying around a full size bottle of lotion, switch to a travel size to lighten up your bag. Refill the smaller bottle with your favorite cream once you start running low. In addition, if you like to keep a brush with you, use a compact foldable brush to save space.
  4. Keep shoe bags and pouches handy to extend the life of your handbag: If you’re like many city dwellers who walk to work, you probably have an extra pair of athletic shoes with you. Keep items like shoes and cosmetics in shoe bags to keep them from getting the inside of your purse dirty. You can throw the shoe bag in the washing machine much easier than trying to clean makeup stains from your purse liner.
  5. Manage the bottomless pit with an organizer: There are hundreds of purse organizers out there that will become a lifesaver. Avoid that “bottomless pit” of a bag by having a place for everything. Instead of frantically digging through your bag for your keys or cell phone, you’ll have a pocket for everything important. See Amazon’s list of purse organizers here.

With these five tips in hand, you’ll be able to tackle every day with confidence by keeping your purse clean and light! Have a purse cleaning tip of your own? Tell us in the comments section below! For more organization and cleaning ideas from the house cleaning experts at Molly Maid, visit our Cleaning Institute.

How to Clean the Inside of Your Car (& Keep It Clean)

March 6, 2015

Let’s face it, having a spotless car interior is not something that’s always a top priority. Oftentimes we have bigger fish to fry in life. But when food containers, pop cans, candy and gum wrappers, gym bags, school papers, and everything else starts to pile up in the back and passenger seats, it’s time to clear the clutter.

Studies have shown that clutter affects one’s ability to focus and concentrate. And when you’re in the car driving, no one will argue that you should be very focused.

Well your gal pal Molly Maid is here to help you clear the clutter. Read our tips below on how to clean the inside of your car (and keep it clean).

03062015 Clean Car Interiorv2 How to Clean the Inside of Your Car (& Keep It Clean)

  1. It’s time to CLEAR it out.  Open all the doors and your trunk, and roll over your garbage and recycling bins. Throw out all the food containers, gum wrappers, and other garbage. Recycle any unimportant paperwork, pop cans (or put them in a bag to return to the store for the deposit if you live in such a state), clean paper napkins, clean plastic bottles, etc. Take items like books, shoes, Tupperware containers, sports equipment, and clothing inside your home and put in their proper place. The goal of this first task is to take everything that isn’t actually part of your vehicle out so you can give the interior of your car a proper cleaning. Also take out things like car chargers and other items (only temporarily) that you keep in your car at all times.
  2. It’s time to CLEAN it out. Now that everything is cleared out of the car, it’s time to clean it out. Just like the Molly Maid way, we recommend you clean your car top-to-bottom, left-to-right:
    • The first thing we recommend you do is clean the inside of your car’s windows. Remember, you’re cleaning top-to-bottom, left-to-right.Start in the driver’s seat and work your way around the car. Use a glass cleaner and paper towel or microfiber cloth to clean the windows.
    • Next, take a clean and slightly damp (not soaked) microfiber cloth and wipe down the interior. Start in the driver’s seat again and wipe down the interior of the door, wheel, dashboard, center console, and floorboards and continue working your way around the car. The floorboards tend to be the dirtiest. You may need to use additional cloths and elbow grease to make them look new again.
    • Once that’s complete, now it’s time to vacuum. Depending on what type of vacuuming equipment you have at home, you may need to take a short trip to your local car wash to use the industrial strength car vacuums. These really get the job done. Again, work top-to-bottom, left-to-right. Start again with the driver’s seat, vacuum the seat, interior door, center console, floorboards and continue working your way around the vehicle. Don’t forget to take out, shake, and vacuum floor mats.
  3. Put it Back Together. Now that your car is nicely vacuumed and wiped down. Now it’s time to put back those items that you keep in your car at all times: car chargers, emergency kits, etc.

Alright! Your car is now looking like new. Pat yourself on the back. Feels pretty good, right? So how do we keep the car looking this great?

Two things will really help: a designated car garage container and car organizer. The car garbage bag doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It could be as simple as a plastic grocery bag that’s hooked to the back of the passenger seat. But if you’re looking for something a bit more aesthetically pleasing, your local auto parts store should have some available. Or else you could always order one online. There are several options available on Amazon. The car organizer is just a way to keep the items that you don’t always have in your vehicle but frequently need to use (i.e. sporting equipment, snacks, bottles of water, sunscreen, blankets, etc.) in an orderly fashion as opposed to strewn all over your car. Again, you could get one of these at your local auto parts store or online.

Have a car cleaning tip of your own? Tell us in the comments section. For more organization and cleaning ideas from the house cleaning experts at Molly Maid, visit the Cleaning Institute.

Garage Organization Ideas for Clearing Clutter

February 27, 2015

Studies have shown that clutter affects one’s ability to focus and concentrate. According to Unclutter.com:

The clutter competes for your attention in the same way a toddler might stand next to you annoyingly repeating, “candy, candy, candy, candy, I want candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy …” Even though you might be able to focus a little, you’re still aware that a screaming toddler is also vying for your attention. The annoyance also wears down your mental resources and you’re more likely to become frustrated.

If you open your garage door and can’t fit your car in there, or your garage just really needs to get organized, keep reading for Molly Maid’s tips on garage organization ideas for clearing clutter.

2262015 garage organization 1 e1425055094374 Garage Organization Ideas for Clearing Clutter

Photo Credit: Rubbermaid Products on Flickr

Part 1: Keep. Donate. Trash. Molly Maid recommends a three-step process for Part 1 of the initial garage organization project. When you’re standing in your garage overwhelmed with the feeling of “I don’t even know where to start” – start with making three piles of all the items in your garage: items to keep, items to donate, and items to throw in the trash. This will help rid the items you no longer use and free up additional space.

Part 2: Sort and Place. For Part 2 of the project, we recommend sorting “like items” and placing them near the area of the garage where you would ultimately like them stored. For example, if you would like your sporting equipment like bikes, golf clubs, helmets, etc. to be closer to the garage door because they’re frequently used, simply put those items near that area.

Part 3: Hang. Hook. Shelve. Bucket. Now we’re ready to actually organize and store these items. We highly recommend having different types of garage organization systems like a shelving unit for smaller container items like paint cans, lawn care products, bug repellent, etc. A rail or rack system with hooks is handy to hang various types of items like bikes, lawn equipment, sporting equipment, which leverages vertical space and frees up for floor space within the garage. Sturdy plastic buckets or baskets are handy for sports equipment like basketballs, footballs, roller blades, baseball gloves, etc.

After completing this three-step process, your garage should be looking organized, tidy and free of clutter for better focus and concentration! Have a garage organization tip of your own? Tell us in the comments section below.

DIY Shoe Rack & Dream Shoe Closet Ideas

February 26, 2015

Marilyn Monroe famously said, “give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world!” We won’t argue with that and it seems those searching Google agree, as more than 3 million results come up for the search term, “DIY shoe storage.”

We discovered several easy ways to stylishly stash your footwear using inexpensive materials such as crown molding, pvc pipe and magazine storage boxes. Molly Maid also couldn’t resist showing off a few dream shoe closet ideas, which have us dreaming of coordinating fabulous shoes by color, heel height and occasion! A few DIY shoe rack great ideas have been assembled in our new Pinterest board: Shoes, Shoes, Shoes.

To quickly conquer your closet clutter and get your shoes off the floor, consider visiting your local home improvement store!

Several pinners showed how easy purchasing an 8’ piece of molding can be cut into 3’ pieces. Check out how GENIABEME decorates the wood with spray paint and nails the pieces to a wall. Hang the heel of the shoe along the crown molding ledge and you’ll see an instant improvement!

Home Stories A to Z has the coolest idea to turn plain ‘ol 6” x 10’ pvc pipe into birch log lookalikes! She shares her inventive steps for kindly requesting cuts to the pipe, prepping, painting and covering the surface in birch bark wallpaper. The example provides storage for 10 pairs of shoes, making your entry way look rustic chic!

Don’t know what to do with those magazine storage boxes? Follow Hative’s plans for keeping flip flops and sandals contained! Using two alternating colors, line the boxes on a shelf and stash two pairs in each and celebrate your closet floor being footwear free!

If your tastes and budget allow for a more luxurious solution and you want to showcase your shoe collection, consider inspiration from the stunning closet featured in Traditional Home magazine!

Leading character of Sex & The City and lover of all fashion and things New York, Carrie Bradshaw said, “I’m not afraid of heights – have you seen my shoes?”

For more organization and cleaning ideas from the house cleaning experts at Molly Maid, visit the Cleaning Institute.

How to Organize Your Makeup Like a Pro

February 19, 2015

It’s estimated that women in America spend an average of over $1,000 a year in cosmetics. That’s a lot of moolah, ladies, to just toss casually in your bathroom drawer! Plus, who’s been on the hunt for that one lipstick you bought months ago that you suddenly realize would match your new top exactly?

Learn how to organize your makeup like a pro. It’s a pretty simple and fun project, really! Here’s how to get started.

How to Organize Makeup Like a Pro 300x300 How to Organize Your Makeup Like a ProMake a pile.

First, collect and assess how much makeup you actually have from those various drawers, makeup bags and old purses. Hmm, that’s a lot of eyeliners. Curse those coupons from Ulta and Sephora!

Toss the expired.

Yes, it’s hard to part with some of our fav beauty-makers, but cosmetics do have a shelf life. Bacteria can grow, especially in a humid bathroom environment. They also tend to lose their luster, literally, after time. You can check for expiration dates and use this when-to-toss guide to determine what stays and what goes:

  • Mascaras: 3-4 months
  • Eyeliners: 3-4 months (liquid), 2 years (pencil and powders)
  • Eye shadows: 6 months (cream), 2 years (powder)
  • Foundations: 6 months (liquid), 2 years (powder)
  • Blushes: 6 months (cream), 2 years (powder)
  • Lipsticks and lip liners: 2 years

Pick a spot.

Organization like a pro means choosing the right place so it doesn’t go back to clutter a week later. Ideal locations are obviously in your bathroom or bedroom where you get that beautiful face ready for the day.

  1. A drawer is a great option because you can buy or make your own dividers for low cost.
  2. Another choice is open countertop or shelf space. This works great if you plan to purchase a pretty organizer and like your collection on display.
  3. Inside a cabinet works well when you have a carry organizer and need the portability.
  4. If you’re limited on space with mirror frontage, you can even use the back of a door where you can hang a hook and try one of those hanging jewelry organizers with clear pockets!

Shop or DIY.

Determine if it’s time for a shopping trip for drawer trays, a new cosmetic caddy or if you prefer the creativity and low budget of a DIY makeup drawer organizer. To do-it-yourself, you just need some cardboard or small boxes and old hair ties or rubber bands to sort and separate. Then, decorate as desired. A magazine rack also works well if you have a lot of those box collections.

Group friends.

Now it’s time to match up the eye stuff, lipsticks and liners, face products, etc. Don’t forget to separate the tools and brushes as well. Speaking of bacteria, when is the last time you cleaned those makeup brushes?! All you need is a little bit of shampoo and warm water to get them looking like new. Rinse until the brush is clear and lay flat on a towel to dry.

Now it’s time to enjoy the beauty of your beauty supplies and finding that perfect peach lipstick just when you need it!

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