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Cleaning with Citrus and Other Edibles

May 12, 2015

Cleaning with citrus in your home is an all-natural way to create a safe, non-toxic house while leaving a fantastically fresh scent at the same time. There are many ways to clean using citrus and other natural herbs that you wouldn’t expect. Check out all the different ways you can use fresh citrus and other herbs to sanitize and freshen your home!

USDA Cleaning with Citrus and Other Edibles

Photo cred: USDA on Flickr.

For an all-purpose, antibacterial citrus cleaner:

  1. Fill a jar with your favorite citrus peels such as orange, lemon, lime and/or grapefruit (dried or fresh) along with your favorite herbs. You can use fresh mint, oregano, or other fragrant herbs, depending on your preference.
  2. Fill the jar with vinegar and seal tight.
  3. Leave out to infuse for 1-2 weeks.
  4. After two weeks, combine one part vinegar fruit concoction and two parts water into a spray bottle and shake well.
  5. You can then use as an all-purpose cleaning solution for bathrooms, kitchens, children’s toys and floors. Note: For woods floors, test a small area before cleaning the entire room to make sure the solution is not too strong for your specific wood and finish.

For your dishwasher: Try leaving a half of lemon or orange in the bottom of your dishwasher. This will leave a fresh scent on your clean dishes. Also, if you want some extra grease fighting, add a teaspoon of lemon juice in with your detergent. The acid in the fruit will help dissolve leftover grease or food stains.  You can also manually scrub grease and caked on food with a half of a lemon.

For the laundry: use lemon juice as a substitute for a gentle bleach to brighten whites. You can also use lemon juice as a great spot cleaner for underarm or other mild stains. Just simply massage the lemon juice in as soon after the stain occurs as possible, and let soak in warm water for 5 minutes. Wash in cold water afterwards.

For wood furniture: Combine 1 part  lemon juice with 2 parts olive oil to make a natural and safe polish for your wood furniture.

Using citrus and other foods and herbs is a great, cost effective way to clean your house. Not only will it leave a fresh scent, but the chemicals are safe and natural for children to be around.

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.

What She Really Wants for Mother’s Day

May 8, 2015

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas … from Mom

Dear (Husband/Children),

Being a mother is a fulltime job. I’m on the clock from the second you wake up to the minute you fall asleep. I work weekends, holidays, my birthday – every day.

Except maybe Mother’s Day.

The second Sunday in May is my day. It’s my day to sleep in. It’s my day to get showered in praises. It’s my day to NOT do housework.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I love the poems and portraits the kids bring home from school. I love a fresh bouquet of flowers. Breakfast in bed? Bring it on! But what I really want – what I really, really, really want – is some help around the house so that I can spend more time with you, my family.

This Mother’s Day, I want a gift certificate from Molly Maid so we can forget about chores for a change and spend more quality time together, doing the things we love.

That is all!

Love,

Mom

Buy a Mother’s Day Gift Card from Molly Maid!

*For every gift certificate purchased before Mother’s Day, we will donate $5 to the Ms. Molly Foundation supporting victims of domestic violence.

Homemade Window Cleaning Solution That Works

May 5, 2015

While cleaning windows isn’t typically on top of anyone’s favorite weekend activities, we have some homemade window cleaning solutions to help you get the job done! If you’re into green cleaning, then this recipe is sure to please.

ShelleyWindow 224x300 Homemade Window Cleaning Solution That Works

Homemade window cleaning solution that works!

Ingredients:

  • Newspaper or clean microfiber cloths
  • Sponge
  • Tap water
  • Spray bottle
  • Squeegee
  • Dish detergent
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Glycerin
  • Ladder
  • Bucket
  • Outdoor hose

Outdoor Window Cleaning Instructions:

  1. To begin cleaning exterior windows, begin by removing screens and storm windows.
  2. Fill a bucket halfway with lukewarm water and add a few squirts of dish detergent. Don’t use too much soap as that will lead to streaks.
  3. Start with ground-level windows and use your sponge and soapy water mixture to remove dirt and debris from glass and window sills. When cleaning windows outside of your reach, be careful when climbing the ladder. Please make sure to have someone at home with you to secure the bottom of the ladder while you work. For second and third story homes, consider hiring a professional to ensure your windows are cleaned safely.
  4. Using the outside hose, rinse the glass and surrounding area.
  5. With vertical strokes on one side of the window and horizontal strokes on the other, use the squeegee to remove moisture and provide a streak-free finish.
  6. Wipe edges with newspaper or a clean, microfiber cloth to dry completely.

Indoor Window Cleaning Instructions:

  1. Fill a spray bottle with 50% white, distilled vinegar and 50% tap water.
  2. Spray the inside of your windows and with vertical strokes on one side of the window and horizontal strokes on the other, use the squeegee to remove moisture and provide a streak-free finish.
  3. Wipe edges with newspaper or a clean, microfiber cloth to dry completely.
  4. For bathroom windows and mirrors, add a few drops of glycerin to plain water and spray the surfaces and wipe dry with a clean, microfiber cloth. This will help prevent fog build-up!

Now, replace your outdoor screens, put your supplies away and enjoy a clear view. We hope you enjoyed our cleaning with vinegar and green cleaning tips!

Win a Mother’s Day Easy as Pie Package

May 1, 2015
MM EasyAsPieBanner Facebook 254x254 Win a Mothers Day Easy as Pie Package

Enter now through May 10th!

We know that moms long for a break from house cleaning, especially on Mother’s Day. And nothing says family quite like sharing a delicious pie!

Molly Maid has partnered with Grand Traverse Pie Company to do something special for hard-working moms with the Easy as Pie Contest. Twenty-five random winners will receive a Strawberry Champagne pie delivered to their door and six will also receive a Molly Maid house cleaning gift certificate!

To enter, “Like” us on Facebook, upload a throwback photo of Mom and share one or two words to describe her. Share the entry on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #mollymaid4mom for an extra entry! Entries will be accepted until Mother’s Day, May 10, 2015.

In addition, $5 of every Molly Maid gift certificate purchased will be donated to the Ms. Molly Foundation to support victims of domestic violence from now through Mother’s Day.

How to Clean Blinds the Right Way

April 29, 2015

The best way to clean blinds is to keep them from getting too dirty in the first place! Molly Maid has been America’s professional

karen cleaning blinds 260x300 How to Clean Blinds the Right Way

Microfiber cloths make cleaning blinds a breeze.

house cleaning service provider for more than 30 years and we have some simple tips to tackle cleaning blinds the right way.

  1. Vacuums come with several attachments – there are even accessories specifically made for mini blinds. You can also use the upholstery tool on wood, faux wood or fabric blinds, though it may be too intense for metal blinds. Follow up with a dry or slightly dampened microfiber cloth to make sure you remove caked on dust.
  2. Forced air from furnaces, air conditioning and open windows move dust, pet hair and more around homes with gusto. Mark your calendar every three months to change your furnace filter, which will reduce the amount of airborne debris.
  3. If simple dusting doesn’t do the trick, you may need to remove fabric blinds and take them to your dry cleaner for thorough freshening.
  4. Once your blinds are dust free, keep them that way longer by running a used dryer sheet over the slats. This trick can help repel future dust from settling.
  5. Molly Maid always recommends dusting first, and following up by vacuuming to prevent repeat effort!

We also provide a step-by-step guide to a clean house and a free, printable house cleaning checklist on our website to keep on-going chores top of mind.

Ultimate Window Cleaning Tips – Inside & Out

April 23, 2015

Ultimate Window Cleaning Tips

By now, your windows have a thick sheen of streaks, dust and debris. That’s what happens when your windows withstand a relentless assault of smudgy fingers and seasonal elements. Don’t fret—backup is on the way. The cleaning pros here at Molly Maid bring you this complete window cleaning guide for clean windows – inside, outside, screens and sills!

Window Cleaning Image Ultimate Window Cleaning Tips – Inside & Out

Streak-free Solution

All it takes is a couple drops of dish soap and a warm bucket of water. But be careful: Too much soap will leave streaks.

Vinegar alternative: You can also use equal parts vinegar and water as a multipurpose solution. Vinegar manufacturer Heinz recommends using 100% vinegar to spot-clean stubborn streaks from windows.

Essential Equipment

  • Bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Natural sponge
  • Professional squeegee
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Old rags
  • White vinegar
  • Toothbrush
  • Dust Mask
  • Sturdy ladder

Newspaper?

For the best clean, we recommend using a squeegee. But when the squeegee won’t fit, you can use crumpled-up newspaper to wipe down your windows. Unlike paper towels, newspaper doesn’t leave behind residue.

Windowsills

Cleaning moldy windowsills requires an old toothbrush, some elbow grease, and a dust mask to protect you from mold spores. Using your vinegar solution, wet the toothbrush and start scrubbing the moldy spots. Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe the surface clean. A chlorine bleach solution also works in place of vinegar, however, please use safety cautions when using bleach. We recommend wearing rubber gloves to protect your hands.

Window Screens

Pop out your screen and lay it down on a flat, clean surface. Using equal parts water and vinegar, scrub your screen with a microfiber cloth. Use a hose to spray off the screen and then shake the excess water away. Lean it against something where it won’t get dirty. Now clean the outside of the window before replacing the screen!

Window Cleaning Technique

We’re going one window at a time. Otherwise, your sudsy solution may dry on the window and cause some serious streaking.

  1. Dip your sponge into the cleaning solution and wring it out lightly.
  2. With circular strokes, apply the soap-and-water solution to the entire window.
  3. Starting in the top-left corner, run your squeegee from left to right.
  4. After each stroke, wipe the blade with a clean, old rag.
  5. Continue working your way down the window, from left to right.
  6. Use some crumpled newspaper or a microfiber cloth to dry any areas that you missed.

Use the same steps for your outside windows. But instead of using left-to-right strokes, run your squeegee top-to-bottom. That way, if there are any streaks, it’s easy to tell which side they’re on.

Paned windows are a pain in the…

If you can’t easily remove your window panes, work around them! To dry, use a small squeegee to work each section from top to bottom. No squeegee? Break out the newspaper!

Cleaning By Molly Maid

Although we don’t typically clean windows, we do clean houses, covering every room and everything in between. Contact your local Molly Maid and we can set up a custom cleaning schedule that fits your needs. Give us a call at 1-800-MOLLY-MAID.

How to Clean Fireplace Glass Doors

April 20, 2015

A properly working wood-burning fireplace is a great luxury to have during the cold winter months, and a great selling point if you’re in the market to buy or sell. But with a wood burning fireplace comes much responsibility. In order to keep your fireplace functioning as a safe wood-burning amenity, proper cleaning and maintenance need to be prioritized. For information on keeping your chimney up to code, and tips for maintaining the safest and cleanest possible fireplace, reference the National Fire Protection Association. But to keep your fireplace looking good as new, regularly cleaning the glass doors is essential.

Great Granpa Grandma T. How to Clean Fireplace Glass Doors

Photo cred: Grandpa & Grandma T. on Flickr.

There are a few basic ways to clean the charcoal and soot off your fireplace glass. But before you begin, remove the glass doors from your fireplace and lay flat on a rag or drop cloth to keep your area clean—cleaning soot and ash can get quite messy! Cleaning your fireplace glass outside or in the garage is also a good option.

One clever, all-natural way to clean your fireplace glass is to use a newspaper or paper towel and ash: Take a damp paper towel or newspaper and dip in leftover ashes. Wipe the glass in a circular motion to loosen caked-on soot. Repeat several times or until the soot is lifted. Finish off with a regular glass cleaner and paper towel to leave a streak free glass as good as new!

Use vinegar solution: Try a homemade soot-cleaning solution made of ammonia and vinegar (1 cup vinegar, 3 cups warm water and 1 tablespoon of ammonia). Spray solution onto the glass and let sit for 30 seconds. With a clean cotton cloth, scrub in a circular motion until soot is loosened. Repeat 2-3 times until glass is clean. Tip: This cleaning concoction can also be used to clean a variety of other places including scrubbing bathtub grime and tile grout.

Use a commercial cleaner and clean rag: If you’d prefer to buy a commercial cleaner specifically for fireplace glass, there are a variety of options. See here for amazon’s list of commercial fireplace cleaning solutions.

Whichever cleaning method you choose, regular cleaning of your fireplace’s glass doors will ensure minimal scrubbing next time. Alternately, if you haven’t cleaned your fireplace glass in a while, you may need to use a spackling knife or razor blade to scrape old layers of soot off.

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 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.”

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