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5 Ways to Clean up After Pet Mishaps

June 29, 2015

Cleaning Expert Molly Maid Offers Quick Solutions for Dog and Cat Messes

Having a pet can mean a lot of extra cleaning and money. Molly Maid, the nation’s leading national residential cleaning franchise is sharing pet cleaning tips to minimize time and money when it comes to cleaning up after your lovable pet.

Rocky 300x297 5 Ways to Clean up After Pet Mishaps

This little guy has a Molly Maid staffer testing these tips on a regular basis!

  1. Carpet Catastrophes: Potty accident in the house? Soak up as much as possible with a paper towel, then use undiluted soda water or dish soap to clean the area. Follow up with a multi-action enzyme formula to prevent future accidents and eliminate odor.
  1. Bad-Smelling Bed: Get rid of odors by sprinkling pet beds with baking soda. Let sit for 15 minutes to deodorize and vacuum.
  1. Soiled from Sickness: If your pet vomits on carpet, remove solid material with a paper towel. Coat the area with an equal mixture of baking soda and salt, then let dry. Finish by vacuuming and blotting with club soda.
  1. Muddy Mess: After a fun romp in the yard, pets often drag the outdoors, in. Keep a towel by the door to wipe paws immediately after being outside. If you notice that their paw pads are a little dry, dab with olive oil to soothe.
  1. Smelly Cat: Fake a bath by wiping your pet with baking soda to kill odor.

For all your house cleaning needs, contact Molly Maid. To find your nearest location, visit www.mollymaid.com/local-house-cleaning.aspx.

How to Wash a Smelly Dog Bed

June 29, 2015

Dog beds gives your dog a comfortable place to sleep and makes for a great alternative from sleeping in your bed! However, just like your own bed, dog beds have to be maintained. If not maintained properly, dog beds can create quite the odor! In this blog, we will cover how to wash a smelly dog bed. For best results, follow these simple steps monthly, or as needed.

06292015 Dog Bed 300x240 How to Wash a Smelly Dog Bed

Photo Cred: tlc on Flickr

Vacuuming your dog’s bed helps to remove dog hair, dirt, and other debris. (If any hairs have been missed, try rolling a lint roller over the bed.) It is very important to get as much dog hair as possible off the bed before washing. Dog hair sticks to wet fabric, so removing it prior to washing is highly recommended. For best results, try using a vacuum hose and an upholstery attachment. Although your focus should be mainly on the sleeping surface, don’t forget to remove dust and fur from the cover. Try vacuuming the bed between washings to keep it cleaner longer.

Most dog beds have removable covers. (This makes the cleaning process easier!) If the dog bed cover isn’t removable, check the washing instructions. If your dog bed cover is removable, you want to start by removing the cover completely. Load the fabric cover into the washing machine. Wash separately from other laundry. Wash bed covers on a large load setting with cold water. Make sure to use a pet-safe laundry detergent to not irritate your dogs skin. The fabric cover can be washed more frequently if needed.

Washing the dog bed may not effectively remove all the stains from the dog bed cover. If there are urine or poop stains, mud, or other deep stains, spray the bed with a stain remover before washing. You should also wash the dog bed in the washing machine. If the dog bed is too large, you can take it to the laundromat to be washed. Load the dog bed cover or the entire bed into a front-load washing machine and wash it in hot water to kill any insects and eggs that may be on the bed. Again,be sure to use a pet-safe laundry detergent to not irritate your dogs skin. If your dog bed is too large to be washed in a washing machine, you can hand wash it in a bathtub using hot water and pet-safe detergent.

You can dry your dog bed and cover in your dryer. Tumble dry for about 20 minutes and air fluff the dog bed with a pet-safe dryer sheet to reduce static. This helps separate any remaining pet fur from the bed and avoid shrinking. You can also let dog beds and removable covers air dry. Hang the bedding in a well-ventilated area to dry to prevent mildew and mold from growing.

Washing your smelly dog bed will only neutralize the pet odor if your home is just as clean. Combine it with Molly Maid’s cleaning service to ensure a fresh smelling home. Request an estimate from your local Molly Maid!

Dog Pee Pads: Do They Actually Work?

June 24, 2015

What could be more exciting than getting a new puppy?  Nothing! However, the reality of owning a new puppy usually sinks in quickly.  Puppies must be trained early to avoid forming bad habits.  You may consider Pee pad training if you have a small breed, physical disabilities or live in tall buildings.

Items Needed:

  • Pee Pads
  • Baby Gate
  • Treats
  • Leash
  • Non-carpeted area
06232015 Doggy vs. Hydrant 300x225 Dog Pee Pads: Do They Actually Work?

Photo Cred: Jackie on Flickr

Set up a room for your dog, When you can’t watch your dog, or when you are away from the house, leave the dog in a small bathroom or laundry room with pads covering the entire floor. Also leave some water, toys and some bedding to lie on.

When you are home, take your dog to the pad regularly and wait for them to go. It’s recommended that you do this every 2-3 hours, as well as following sleep, play and eating periods.  Reward your dog generously whenever they successfully use the pee pad.  Keep your dog on a leash to prevent them from wandering away. Simply stand with your dog while on the pee pad, on-leash, and ignore them until they have successfully used the pee pad. If they haven’t used it after 5 minutes, then take your dog away from the spot.

Do this for 2-3 days, then take away one of the pads (leaving all the others). In two more days, take another pad away.  Two days later, remove another, and so on concentrating the area. The idea is to wean your dog off of each pad until there is only one left in the room.  If the dog pees outside of the remaining pads, put the rest back and start over.

No punishment.  This is a very important step! Do not yell at your dog if they have an accident. If your dog has an accident, simply take them quickly to their pad.  All yelling will do is teach your dog to poop and pee when you are not around (when it’s “safe”).

Maintain this routine for about 2 weeks.  If your dog is not having accidents at that point, begin to give them a little more freedom and continue to reward successful potty trips.  You could add a hallway or additional rooms. If your dog begins to soil again, go back to the steps mentioned above.

Still looking for help cleaning up doggy accidents (and maybe your own!), Molly Maid’s cleaning service can help to ensure  a fresh smelling home. Request an estimate from your local Molly Maid today!

Use Oil-Based Paint to Neutralize Pet Urine in Subflooring

June 23, 2015

How to Neutralize Pet Odor in Subflooring

Pet urine can be an eye-watering stench that’s nearly impossible to deodorize. Most pet owners are familiar with the various carpet cleaning tips and pricy products used to defunkify their musky carpets. But when pet stains happen, urine can soak through the carpet and into the subflooring, leaving a stain and a stench that can’t be lifted with carpet cleaner and elbow grease. If you have pet odor that will not go away despite your carpet cleaning efforts, follow these easy steps to seal your subflooring of odors.

It’s Not Just Your Carpet…

06232015 Pulling Carpet 300x225 Use Oil Based Paint to Neutralize Pet Urine in Subflooring

Photo Cred: Cameron Moon on Flickr

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Oil-based stain blocking primer (such as Kilz Original Oil-Base Stain Blocking Primer)
  • Paint brush
  • Face mask
  • Gloves
  • Shop vacuum

How to Neutralize Pet Urine in Subflooring:

  • First, you’ll want to clean your carpet where the stain occurred.
  • Wait! Before you start sealing the subflooring, put on gloves and a face mask for safety.
  • Pull up your carpet where affected and evaluate the flooring. Make sure the area is dry and free of mold. If you discover mold or a potentially wet and rotting subflooring, call a professional to evaluate further.
  • Use a shop vacuum to free the subflooring of any loose debris or dirt.
  • Grab your oil-based stain blocking primer, making sure to shake and stir well before application.
  • Using your paint brush, apply the primer generously to the affected area.
  • Let the stain dry completely, and then re-lay your carpet.
  • Enjoy the relief of an odorless home!

Sealing your subflooring will only neutralize the pet odor if your home is just as clean. Combine neutralizing your flooring with Molly Maid’s cleaning service to ensure a fresh smelling home. Request an estimate from your local Molly Maid! And if you need help lifting your carpet and sealing the source of the odor, contact your local Mr. Handyman!

A Hairy Situation: How to Control Dog Shedding

June 17, 2015

One of the biggest pains most dog owners feel is dog shedding. Unwanted dog hair covers many car seats, carpets, and household furniture. Cleaning can be very tedious and exhaustive. Although it shedding can’t be totally prevented, it can be controlled. There are several different techniques to control dog shedding. The three most common methods for controlling dog shedding are: brushing, controlling/monitoring diet, and bathing. In this blog, we will explain how to control dog shedding.

06172015 Shedding Dog1 A Hairy Situation: How to Control Dog Shedding

Photo Cred: Taro the Shiba Inu

Brushing

Brushing your dog’s hair frequently (maybe even daily depending on the dog) works great for keeping your home free of hair. Consult with your vet to see what brush type (bristle or slicker brush, or a rake) is the most appropriate. Keep in mind that some dogs need more than one type of brush to remove all of the dead hair. Brushing makes your dog’s coat softer, cleaner, and reduces shedding. You can also use de-shedding tools during seasons where your dog’s coats begin to fall off and grow in. Indoor dogs may shed year-round.

Controlling/Monitoring Diet

A dog’s coat can be attached to their diet! It is recommended that you feed your dog high quality food that lists meat as the main ingredient. You can also add a tablespoon of olive oil to your dog’s food. Olive oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that help rejuvenate the skin. Lastly, give your dog plenty of clean water. Especially during the summer months. Dehydration often times leads to dry skin.

Bathing

Regular bathing gives dogs a healthier coat. Regular baths also helps removes loose hair, which prevents your dog from shedding in the home! Ask your vet or research your dog’s breed to find a proper bathing schedule. This is important as bathing too frequently can cause dry skin, which causes shedding. After bathing, towel dry first and (if needed) you can use a blow dryer (only on the coolest setting). Make sure that you blow the hair in the opposite direction of where it’s growing. This helps get rid of loose hair from the coat.

Still need help cleaning up dog hair? No worries! Call the professionals at Molly Maid for your home cleaning needs. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.

Best Way to Clean Pet Urine from Carpet

June 15, 2015

Love your pet but hate the mess they leave behind? It has happen to all pet owners. Whether it is nervousness, lack of training, or just plain random, pets usually find a way to stain carpets. In this blog, we will go over the best ways to clean pet urine from carpet.

06112015 Dog on Carpet 300x200 Best Way to Clean Pet Urine from Carpet

Photo Cred: KamrenBPhotography on Flickr

If the stain is still wet, you should soak up as much urine as possible with a damp towel or paper towel.  The more urine removed before it can dry makes it easier to remove odors and stains from the carpet. Place a damp towel or several pieces of paper towel over the soiled area. Apply pressure by standing or placing something heavy (a large book, heavy container, etc.) on top . After a few minutes, remove the padding and repeat the process until the area is barely damp.

After the soiled area is barely damp, rinse the area with cool water. Let the water absorb into the soiled area for about a minute. Then get a dry towel and blot the stain (or you can soak up the water by applying pressure to the towel). Some prefer using a enzyme cleaner prior to drying the soiled area. This would be recommended if the stain still has an ammonia smell. Keep in mind that your pet will return to the soiled area if they can smell their personal scent.

Removing pet urine from carpet is a tough task, especially if the stain has already set! There are different ways of cleaning pet urine from the carpet if this has occurred. For starters, you can repeat the steps above and use a pet odor neutralizer after the soiled area is dried. Also, you can use a carpet stain remover if a stain is visible after cleaning. One thing to avoid using are cleaning chemicals. Some of these chemicals have strong odors and they don’t effectively eliminate or cover the urine odor. The use of cleaning chemicals may cause your pet to revisit the soiled area later.

Why You Need an Indoor Clothesline Today

June 11, 2015

An Indoor Clothesline Saved My Laundry Room

If your laundry room looks like a crime scene of damp sweaters, soggy swimsuits and soaking towels, you need an indoor clothesline. We’re not saying you need to ditch your dryer altogether. You’re busy, and you don’t always have time to watch your laundry drip dry. However, an indoor clothesline is a great way to cutback clutter while spinning a couple bucks off your utility bills.

06112015 Laundry e1434023642725 Why You Need an Indoor Clothesline Today

Photo Credit: Lennart Tange on Flickr

Top Three Reasons to Install an Indoor Clothesline

  1. Clear Laundry Room Clutter. If there’s more laundry on your washer and dryer than inside, you may have a clutter problem. But what on Earth will you do with your favorite skinny jeans, cashmere sweater and other items that don’t dare go in the dryer? If you don’t have room for a drying rack, you’ll do what most people do: drape the damp clothes over every empty surface in sight. Unlike a drying rack, indoor clotheslines are retractable, which means they don’t take up any space until they are being used. We like that!
  2. Clothes Last Longer. We’ll admit: Sometimes it’s easier to throw a lightly-worn shirt in the laundry hamper rather than fold it up and put it back in the dresser drawer. And boy, that hamper fills up fast! Instead, let your lightly-worn laundry air out on the clothesline. And if you forgo the dryer altogether, your laundry won’t be subjected to all that heat. That means your clothing will maintain its color and quality for much longer.
  3. Save Some Money. According to consumerenergcenter.org, your electric dryer accounts for 6% of your electricity bill. At 32 to 41 cents a load, an average family is spending between $83.20 and $106.60 a year (at 5 loads a week). You can probably cut that in half by simply air drying your lighter loads.

How to Install an Indoor Clothesline

Whatever you save in energy will more than pay for your new indoor clothesline. Retractable indoor clotheslines range from $10 to $20 online. We also like the 5-line retractable clotheslines, which range from $15 to $50 for a much longer line. Both options are fairly easy to install – I guess you could say installation is a “breeze!”

  1. Use the hardware provided to mount the retractable end to the wall of your choice. Use the drywall anchors if you’re not screwing into a stud. And if you’re mounting inside of a tiled shower, use a glass/tile drill bit to drill a hole for the drywall anchors.
  2. Mount the clothesline receiver on the other side of the room. But before you do this, measure the distance from wall to wall to ensure that it will reach!

If your clothesline is a little more complicated than this, or you have a grander vision, call your local handyman for some help!

Where Should You Install Your Indoor Clothesline?

  • Laundry room
  • Shower or above bathtub
  • Screened in porch
  • Above a utility sink
  • In front of an open window
  • Garage

At Molly Maid, we’re dedicated to helping you maintain a clean and tidy home. An indoor clothesline is just one way to keep your laundry room in order. For more house cleaning tips, follow us on Facebook or contact your local Molly Maid for a free cleaning estimate.

We Love Dads!

June 9, 2015

Father’s Day 2015 is quickly approaching! Still looking for the right gift for dad? Molly Maid may have the perfect gift for you! Molly Maid partnered with Grand Traverse Pie Company to create the We Love Dads contest. To enter the Father’s Day contest, simply visit the Molly Maid National Facebook page. Like us and tell us what you’d rather be doing than cleaning. Sweepstakes runs through June 18, 2015.

The grand prize winner will receive $150 toward a Molly Maid house cleaning and a Father’s Day Chocolate Stout Grand Traverse Pie Company pie. Fifteen second-place winners will receive $100 worth of Molly Maid gift certificates and one free pie.

WeLoveDad We Love Dads!

Pies are made from real stout beer and delivered by Grand Traverse Pie Company. Gift certificates are emailed and redeemable at any U.S. Molly Maid location! 

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 June 18.

So far, we have received over 400 entries for the contest! And the responses have been amazing! All participants are asked what they would rather be doing than cleaning. The top answers thus far have been:

  • Fishing
  • Playing with kids/being with family
  • Reading
  • Sleeping/Napping
  • Golfing

We have even had some people say they would rather be in Dante’s Inferno or getting their teeth drilled rather than clean! (I would consider picking up the broom before doing that!)

Again, if you would like to enter the contest visit the Molly Maid National Facebook page. Or you can schedule a cleaning for dad by contacting your local Molly Maid at  1-888-583-6490. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.

Make Your Own Affordable Laundry Detergent

May 29, 2015

According to Procter & Gamble, the average American family does 300 loads of laundry per year. This is more than five loads per week! With that being said, the cost of detergent really adds up! But by making your own DIY laundry detergent, you could save hundreds of dollars a year! It will also ensure that your family has properly clean clothes washed with safe, all-natural products.

Kim Myoung Sung Make Your Own Affordable Laundry Detergent

Photo cred: Kim MyoungSung on Flickr.

Making your own DIY laundry detergent is incredibly simple, and not super scientific. To begin, note a few basic ingredients:

  • 1 cup Washing soda
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 Shaved bar of soap (castile or oil based)

All three ingredients for this DIY laundry detergent can be found in the laundry aisle of your grocery store. To shave the castile soap, we used a handheld cheese grater (a food processor also works). Make sure the ingredients are mixed well, either with spoon or in a blender, and sealed with an airtight lid to prevent detergent from prematurely going bad. Keep in mind this recipe can standalone as a safe, unscented laundry detergent. Use 1-2 tablespoons for each load, depending on the size and efficiency of your washing machine. The recipe here should last up to 45 loads.

To spice things up a little, use this simple recipe as a base. Then feel free to get creative with fun scents or essential oils. Try adding 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil (We recommend trying lemon, lavender, jasmine or even peppermint!) to each batch of detergent to have your clothes fully clean and smelling great! If you’re unsure about using scented detergent, try adding a couple drops of oil to a dryer sheet and add before you start the dry cycle. This way, if you are unhappy with the scent, you won’t have to throw out the entire batch of detergent.

Extra gentle laundry detergent for babies can get quite expensive. So here’s a little secret: Use the same basic recipe from above, but leave out the borax. Borax can be a little strong for a baby’s delicate skin. The castile soap and washing soda combination will be the perfect alternative to store bought baby detergent.

With these simple instructions, you’ll be able to cut your laundry detergent costs by up to 50%, while using a safe, green alternative to traditional store bought laundry soap.

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.

 

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.

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