11 Housecleaning Chores You Should Leave to the Professionals

gebäudereiniger arbeitet im wintergartenAlthough you might not splurge on a weekly or even biweekly housecleaning service, chances are, at some point in time, you have hired someone to handle certain household chores simply because you can’t do everything yourself and still stay sane. After all—some of the items on your “Honey Do” list are complicated and/or messy.

In a story Allison Cooper of TLC wrote about when to hire out help, she divided household chores into three categories:

  • Daily or weekly tasks: dishes, dusting, toilets, showers, laundry, sweeping, vacuuming
  • Occasional, more time-consuming chores: windows, draperies, carpets, floor refinishing
  • Infrequent or emergency-situation jobs: chimneys, mold, gutters

For regular chores, most people DIY. And even if you hire a professional housekeeping service, you probably end up scrubbing a shower stall and wiping down your kitchen counters between housekeeping visits. There are lots of people who like to do everything themselves…even steam cleaning carpets and venturing up to the roof to clean gutters. But these tasks are scary. So we’ve created a list of 11 suggestions we have for making your life a little bit easier. After all; it’s better to spend a little money than to injure yourself cleaning the eaves or inhaling dust while replacing old air filters.

Here’s our list of 11 cleaning chores we think you should skip:

1. Air Ducts

If you or anyone in your home suffers from airborne allergies, you might decide to clean the air ducts in your home. If so (unless you’ve had extensive training,), hire someone who knows what he or she is doing.

2. Blinds and Drapes

Do you vacuum, dust and sponge down your draperies and blinds on a regular basis? Experts recommend that metal and vinyl blinds be taken down and plunged into a warm soap-filled bathtub or scrubbed with a car-washing brush. If this sounds less than thrilling, call an expert.

3. Carpets
If you vacuum on a regular basis, you can probably get away with steam or chemical cleaning your carpets once a year. Resist the temptation to rent a bargain steamer at the grocery store. The equipment available at supermarkets is not the same caliber as what professionals own. So it’s well worth it to hire someone else to do the job with the right gear.

4. Chimneys
Did you know that chimneys should be swept at least once a year, and even more often if you burn lots of fires? Schedule the chimney sweep before the cold weather begins and you might qualify for a discount.

5. Gutters
Gutter-cleaning should be a semi-annual task (generally in the fall and spring), and — especially if you have a lot of trees on your property — it’s probably not a very enjoyable one. There are some who claim that gutter maintenance is a DIY job, but we definitely do not fall into that camp. Why get up on a ladder with a bucket, hose and trowel if you don’t really have to? We’d say there are about a million better (and safer) ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.

6. Hardwood Floors
Although most people can handle mopping routine hardwood floor maintenance such as sweeping and mopping, refinishing is a different matter. Refinishing is laborious. And if you proceed without knowing what you are doing, you run the risk of ruining the entire surface of your floors. And it’s almost always more expensive to pay someone to fix your mistakes than to hire a pro in the first place.

7. Mold
Removing mold on your own could be hazardous to your health. Remediation specialists will thoroughly inspect every suspected mold-growth area, clean it and make sure the environment is changed so mold won’t return.

8. Organizing
If a disorganized home is causing you stress, it might be time to call in a professional. Organizers do a lot more than remove clutter from your home. They can eliminate chaos in your life. And isn’t your peace of mind worth more than the money you would pay someone to create order in your home?

9. Upholstery
If you own leather furniture, condition and dust it on a regular basis and you’ll be good to go. For upholstered furniture, other than spot-cleaning spills and vacuuming pet hair, you should hire someone you trust to take care of your furniture so you won’t destroy the fibers by using the wrong kind of cleaner.

10. Windows
Do you clean your windows often? Because they tend to get dull before they become grimy, it’s easy to forget about your windows. Washing both sides including screens and sills is labor-intensive. Why else would so many housekeepers exclude the chore from their services provided? If you’re determined to handle things yourself, check out this short video tutorial. Otherwise, hire a housekeeping company that doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff.

11. Everything
It isn’t that you aren’t capable of cleaning up your own house. But, let’s face it. It’s summer. Wouldn’t you rather have free time so you can hang out with your family instead of slaving over a mop or vacuum cleaner? If you’ve ever considered hiring a housekeeper to handle the mess for you, now is the time to act. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency is offering free estimates. So just give us a call and we will give you an idea of how affordable it is to hire someone to do the dirty work for you.

If you would like some help cleaning your house on a routine basis or for deep cleaning; give My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency a call. The housekeepers we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit MyCleaninglady.com or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.

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House Cleaning Referral – Chino, CA

House Cleaning Referral Chino CAMyCleaningLady knows from experience how critical it is for a house cleaner to show up on time, do a good job and charge a reasonable fee.

We register only great, trustworthy housekeepers who serve the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire, weeding out anyone who doesn’t make the grade. Let us screen housekeepers so you don’t have to.

 

Get a free house cleaning estimate today. Call us at 909-593-6690 or visit our website.

 

20 Often Forgotten House Cleaning Areas (Part 2 of a 2-Part Series)

 

Tired frustrated and exhausted cleaning woman

With the warm weather, you might find yourself entertaining more often than you did during the cold and cozy weekends of winter. But before you start sending out barbecue invitations, make sure you take time to clean those areas of your home that are easy to overlook. You know what we mean—the nooks and crannies that seldom see the light of day.

When it comes to cleaning house, the adage “out of sight-out of mind” definitely applies. So spend a little time surveying your entire home. Check it out, top-to-bottom. And don’t forget 20 of the most often neglected spots in your home (presented in alphabetical order). Last week, we focused on the first 10 areas. This week, we’ll close out this series with the remaining frequently missed housecleaning areas, which should help you get your house in fine shape before summer. Last week, we covered these 10 areas: around appliances, baseboards, bottom edges of countertops, ceiling fan blades, ceilings and corners, closets, coffeemakers, cupboards, drawers, and frames. Here are the final 10 household tasks which are easy to forget:

11. Vents—whether or not you choose to have your air ducts cleaned, you should include vents in your regular household cleaning routine, since warm air circulates through them during the cold winter months…carrying dust and particulate matter and depositing it on radiator grates and vents. Also, don’t forget to routinely replace air filters which collect dirt and other airborne allergens.

12. Lamp Shades—unless partygoers are routinely using your lampshades to parade around your living room, shades catch dust which embeds itself on lampshade fabric if left undisturbed. So use a microfiber cloth to wipe the interior and exterior of every shade in your house.

13. Laundry Bags & Bins—since they store dirty clothes, laundry baskets require regular cleaning. For plastic containers, wash with a diluted bleach solution and rinse with warm water. Wipe or let air dry. For cloth bags, toss washable containers into the washer and hang dry so they retain their shape.

14. Shoe Racks—if you’re not convinced you should regularly clean shoe racks, consider how much dirt and debris you in on the soles of your shoes. So make sure to include them in your regular household chores.

15. Sliding Door Tracks—used for closets and patio doors, sliding door tracks collect dust, dirt, dead insects and leaves if you don’t vacuum them out on a regular basis. A Shop Vac works well for this task. If it’s been awhile since you last cleaned door tracks, you should use a wet towel to clean out large items and then wipe dry with a clean paper towel. 

16. Stove Hood—Switch out the filter on your hood at least once every six months. And use a de-greaser to remove cooking oil which tends to collect in and around the knobs on stove hoods.

17. Under the Bed—your kids probably thought monsters hid under their beds. But even clean rooms can host large dust bunnies unless they are swept or vacuumed on a weekly basis. Make sure you get down on your hands and knees so you are able to see all of the spots dust and dirt gather.

18. Underneath Furniture—just like beds, furniture is a great place for dust and dirt to hide. Clean underneath furniture instead of around it.

19. Utensil Holders & Spice Racks—once a week, empty your utensil holder and remove all of the cooking tools so you can clean the bottom of the container, which tends to collect loose dirt and even small bits of food which could attract ants.

20. Window Sills—easily forgotten if they are covered by curtains, shades or drapes, window sills are dust collectors. So dust them on a regular basis. And if too much time has passed since you last gave sills the attention they deserve, use a damp sponge and wipe dry with paper towels.

If you would like some help cleaning your house on a routine basis or for deep cleaning; give My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency a call. The housekeepers we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.

20 Often Forgotten House Cleaning Areas (Part 1 of a 2-Part Series)

 

coccinela pulizie

Part 1 of a 2-Part Series

With the warm weather, you might find yourself entertaining more often than you did during the cold and cozy weekends of winter. But before you start sending out barbecue invitations, make sure you take time to clean those areas of your home that are easy to overlook. You know what we mean—the nooks and crannies that seldom see the light of day.

When it comes to cleaning house, the adage “out of sight-out of mind” definitely applies. So spend a little time surveying your entire home. Check it out, top-to-bottom. And don’t forget 20 of the most often neglected spots in your home (presented in alphabetical order). This week, we’ll focus on 10. Next week, check back as we close out this series, which should help you get your house in fine shape before summer:

  1. Around Appliances—if you’ve ever moved, you know the humiliation of seeing the dust and dirt that accumulates in, around and under your refrigerator and washer/dryer. Don’t wait until it’s time to relocate to move these heavy-hitters and clean coils, hoses and the floor where large items are stored.   
  2. Baseboards—the easiest way to clean baseboards is with a damp sponge and some clean dry paper towels. Resist the urge to assign the task to your toddlers. Though they won’t have to squat to work, they probably won’t give the job the attention to detail it deserves. 
  3. Bottom Edge of Countertops—although kitchen and bathroom countertops are among the most-often cleaned items in the home, it’s easy to forget to clean the sides and undersides of counters. So take a few minutes to give attention where it’s due…the area where germs often collect and grow. 
  4. Ceiling Fan Blades—unless you’re abnormally tall, you probably don’t notice the dust which gathers on both sides of the blades on your ceiling fans. But grow it does. So take time to eliminate dust mites which can be strewn about the room when the fan is turned on if they are left unchecked. Just use a damp sponge and some mild household cleaner. If the blades are made of wood, paper towels or a microfiber cloth and an aerosol furniture polish will work well. 
  5. Ceilings and Corners—a quick peek into the corners of your house will reveal whether or not spiders have gone to town this winter. If you see cobwebs, grab the broom and bat them down. If you have crown molding, run a damp sponge over the entire surface. 
  6. Closets—if you skip vacuuming and dusting inside closets, now is the time to focus on them. Pull everything out and vacuum thoroughly. You’ll be surprised by how much dust has accumulated. 
  7. Coffeemakers—if you haven’t run vinegar through your automatic drip coffeemaker do so today. Once you’ve run a cycle with pure white household vinegar, run again with water once or twice…or until the vinegar odor has dissipated. 
  8. Cupboards—like closets, cupboards are often forgotten. But they house your most important items…from dishes to pots & pans to sheets and towels. This task might seem daunting if you tend to toss items into cupboards and quickly shut the door. But take the time to clean it out. You’ll be glad you did the next time you open the door and don’t get hit with flying household goods. 
  9. Drawers—whether your junk drawer or every drawer in your entire home is in disarray, it will be worthwhile to organize those tiny spaces that can quickly accumulate junk. 
  10. Frames—picture frames and frames around artwork collect dust. And while you probably intend on dusting every single surface in your home, you might have forgotten the glass or the frames. Microfiber cloths are perfect for this chore. Keeping a lid on dust will make life easier on the allergy-sufferers in your home.

Next week’s blog post will feature 10 more neglected household areas. From kitchen buttons, knobs & handles to window sills, we’ll provide hints to help you organize your home in plenty of time to entertain this summer.

If you would like some help cleaning your house on a routine basis or for deep cleaning; give My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency a call. The housekeepers we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.

10 Spring Cleaning Ideas

Spring CleaningMartha Stewart’s book, Homekeeping Handbook, includes a free printable checklist for the annual house cleaning ritual that most Americans observe as soon as buds start to appear and birds begin to sing. Although she recognizes that pleasure typically comes only after the work is finished, she challenges readers to improve the process by making the project more manageable. Her printable checklist offers an overview of everything people need to know, such as information on cleansers, stain removal, fabric care, and storage.

She challenges readers to go through the tips and techniques, tailoring the list to individual homes. What’s more, she recommends amateur housekeepers:

  • Create a realistic schedule.
  • Realize that a single weekend won’t suffice for a thorough spring-cleaning job
  • Include detailed activities like shampooing carpets and organizing closets.
  • Focus on one task at a time.
  • Be sure to enlist the help of family members.

The professionals at My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency have a few spring cleaning tips of our own we would like to share with our readers:

  1. Clear out before cleaning up. You won’t be able to clean things if you can’t get to them. So the first step should be to remove large objects and out of place items.
  2. Dust and/or vacuum everything stem to stern. Although you might routinely vacuum around large furniture when you’re in a rush, spring is the time to move desks, couches, chairs and beds and thoroughly clean underneath. Since allergy season arrives in spring, you will be doing your lungs a favor by paying attention to details.
  3. Remove books from shelves. Dust loves to hide out behind old books on shelves, in closet door tracts and inside lampshades. Use spring cleaning as the time to focus on minutiae you don’t usually have time to consider.
  4. Wash trash cans. Although you probably intend on rinsing your trash cans every time you change the bag, you might have let the job slide a time or two during the cold winter months. So empty everything and lug your cans to the backyard so they can be soaked with water and dish soap and sprayed with antibacterial spray.
  5. Clean the Silver. These days, few people own fine flatware. But if you inherited some, don’t let it tarnish. Invest in an inexpensive silver polish. This is a great activity to turn over to your kids. If you fail to keep up on polishing, you won’t be happy with the stains that greet you the next time you want to entertain.
  6. Flip the mattresses. Another task that’s all too easy to forget, mattress flipping is important for eliminating dust mites as well as maximizing the life of your mattresses and box springs. Enlist some help so you can turn the mattress over and bang on it until the dust falls. You might be surprised at how much dirt has accumulated since you last did this simple task.
  7. Clean Blinds. Blinds are another object that is easily forgotten. But left unattended, blinds can collect loads of dust. So, as long as they aren’t made of wood, carefully remove them and soak in a bathtub filled with warm water and dish soap. Rinse and dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
  8. Oil Cabinets. While furniture polish is advisable for everyday cleaning, your cabinets can dry out if not routinely oiled. This is especially true in the warm summer months. So spring is the perfect time to conquer this annual chore.
  9. Turn your attention to the garage. As soon as you’ve cleared the decks inside your house, move to the garage and driveway. Spring is a great time to remove grease stains from the driveway and trim hedges that surround your yard.
  10. Don’t neglect your garden. When your yard is covered with snow or mud from fall storms, it’s easy to forget about lawn and garden care. But spring is the perfect time of the year to grab the gardening tools and head outdoors.

If you would like some help cleaning your house on a routine basis or for deep cleaning; give My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency a call. The housekeepers we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.

What NOT to do to Clean Your House Part 2 of a 2-Part Series

 

What Not to Do Pt 2We began a series last week about a topic seldom covered by housekeeping bloggers. While they routinely share tips and hints for cleaning house, they seldom tell you what NOT to do. This series by My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency is an exception, as we will share the things you should avoid doing if you want to have a clean house. Beginning last week and wrapping up with this post, we’ll cover everything from windows to kitchen sponges. After reading this post, check last week’s offering about housecleaning habits you should avoid. These suggestions have to do with the order of things—which matters!

Organizing

Instead of using the excuse of needing to buy organizational supplies to leave your house in a mess and run out to the store, clean first. Then, it will be time to organize. Finally, once everything is clean and tidy, you can strategize about storage solutions so you can go to the mega mart to buy anything and everything you need to finish the job. If you leave your cleaning post to shop, you won’t know what you need. And leaving will likely take you off track in much the same way that a moose loses track of things if you give him a muffin…

Vacuum Last

Leave the vacuum in the closet until everything has been dusted or you’ll be wasting your time.  If you remove the dust after you clean the carpet, small particles may fall on the ground, cluttering your newly vacuumed rug. Dust first and then vacuum for best results.

 

Crumbs before Cleaning

For the same reasons you should vacuum after dusting, you should also clean your sink at the end of your kitchen-cleaning. After all; why scrub out the sink if you plan to wipe down the counters and stovetop and even empty the crumb-catcher on the toaster? If you do all of these other tasks first, you will find that your sink stays clean at least a little bit longer than if you clean it first.

 

Keep Germs at Bay

Unless you can afford to buy a new sponge for each and every germ in your house, you’ll likely want to pay attention to this next hint, which has to do with how to use one sponge to clean your entire bathroom…without infecting your toothbrush from germs found on the toilet. Basically, you will start with the cleanest area and move to the messiest. Then, toss the sponge into the trash instead of trying to rehabilitate it. Better safe than sorry:

 

  1. Using plenty of cleaner and a fresh sponge, wipe down the sink, countertop and faucet.
  2. Clean the shower doors and floors.
  3. Scrub the outside of the toilet from the tank to the base of the bowl.
  4. Then, finally…move onto to the bowl.
  5. Resist the urge to wash the sponge or reuse it. Once it’s touched the toilet, it is toast.
  6. Dry everything individually with fresh, clean paper towels.

 

If you would like some help cleaning your house in the right order; give My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency a call. The housekeepers we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.

What NOT to do to Clean Your House – Part 1

One thing we would recommend against is letting an anteater clean your carpets.

One thing we would recommend against is letting an anteater clean your carpets.

This is part 1 of a 2-part series. Check back next week for part 2.

Housekeeping bloggers often share tips and hints for cleaning house. But seldom do they tell you what NOT to do. This series by My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency is an exception, as we will share the things you should avoid doing if you want to have a clean house. This week, we’ll cover everything from windows to kitchen sponges. Check back again next week, when we wrap up our series by focusing on even more cleaning habits you should avoid.

Windows—don’t use a blue commercial cleaners and a paper towel unless you like looking through smudges and streaks. For tips about the right way to wash windows, check out a short instructional video by the housecleaning professionals at My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency.

Rust Stains
All-purpose cleaners aren’t the right choice to remove rust stains from sinks, tubs and toilets, even if you’re willing to use a lot of elbow grease. Instead, use a stain remover made specifically for the purpose, like Super Iron Out (which costs about $10 for a 5-lb. jug). Effective rust removers contain a chemical called hydrochloric acid. Resist the urge to use product that contain bleach, since these will serve to set the stain instead of removing it.

Pet Hair

Don’t use a vacuum or broom to remove pet hair from furniture. You’ll end up getting frustrated because these tools just push animal hair around instead of removing it. Opt instead for a tape roller or a simple roll of duct tape. The high-powered adhesive properties in duct tape make it perfect for a makeshift pet hair remover. What’s more, tape is far faster than vacuuming. Use this method to remove hair from the inside of your car, as well.

Fabric Stains

Don’t rub straight liquid or powdered detergent directly on a stain. Since they are made to be diluted and used to wash several items at once in the context of your washing machine, these products may actually set the stain instead of removing it. Instead, use stain pens. And for best results, treat spills immediately. Several varieties are available and are designed to remove small stains from upholstery, grout, caulk, porcelain and clothing. Press the tip into the stain to release the solution, rub the tip across the stain to remove it. These are great options because they are inexpensive, portable and fast-acting.

Dusting

Though opinions vary greatly, we advise against the use of feather dusters. Why? They lift the dust only to reposition it in another area of the house unless you use a heavy-duty commercial variety and observe careful, regular cleaning of the duster. Instead, we recommend a much easier solution…microfiber cloths and furniture polish.

Countertops and Sinks

Have you ever volunteered to help clear the dishes at someone else’s home only to be confronted by a sponge or kitchen rag that practically stands up by itself? One of our pet peeves is the use of filthy, microbial-filled old sponges for kitchen “cleaning.” Please run your sponges in the dishwasher or throw towels into the wash on a very regular basis. Otherwise, when you think you are cleaning your sink or dishes, you are really just covering them with old germs.

If you would like some help cleaning your house the right way; give My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency a call. The housekeepers we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.

Make Your Own Inexpensive, Green Cleaning Products

bottle with homeopathy balm and leafIf you’re not careful, you could easily spend most of your paycheck buying basic commercial cleaning products at your local grocery market or big box store. The good news is that, despite advertising campaigns which assert you can’t clean your house without buying a different cleaner for each and every surface, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on chemicals. In fact, for a fraction of the cost, you can create your own homemade cleaning products which not only do a great job for pennies on the dollar, but also protect the environment. You’ll just need a little time and a few supplies and inexpensive products you likely already have on hand.

All Purpose Cleanser—Vinegar

Ordinary, inexpensive household white vinegar not only dissolves dirt, soap scum and hard water deposits from smooth surfaces, but can also be used to safely and gently clean hardwood floors. The best thing about using vinegar to clean is that it doesn’t create harsh chemical fumes. So cleaning with it isn’t hazardous to your health!

What’s more, white vinegar is a natural deodorizer, which absorbs odors instead of masking them. Even the mild vinegar aroma will dissipate as soon as the vinegar evaporates. What’s more, vinegar is free of coloring agents, so it won’t stain the grout on tiled surfaces. And since it cuts detergent residue, white vinegar makes a great perfume-free fabric softener substitute.

Mix:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • That’s all there is to it! After mixing, microwave solution to pump up the cleaning power or pour directly into a spray bottle and use at room temperature.
  • Spray shower walls with warmed vinegar. Allow to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Then scrub and rinse. The heat will soften stubborn stains and loosen hard water deposits.

Ordinary Undiluted White Vinegar

For heavy-duty cleaning, just use undiluted white vinegar right out of the bottle.

  • Use straight vinegar to scrub the inside of the toilet bowl.
  • First, dump a bucket of water into the toilet to force water out of the bowl.
  • Pour undiluted white vinegar around the inside of the bowl and use a brush to scrub and remove stains and odor.
  • Use a pumice stone to remove hard water rings.
  • This is a great idea from All You:
    • Clean mineral deposits which clog shower heads.
    • Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar in a plastic food storage bag, and secure the bag to the shower head with a rubber band.
    • Let stand overnight, then rinse and buff the fixture until it shines.

Homemade Dish Soap

Although homemade dish soap is devoid of bubbles, it works just as well as store-bought suds.

  • 24-oz. squirt bottle (or empty dishwashing-liquid bottle)
  • 2/3 cup liquid Castile soap
  • 3 tsp. vegetable glycerin
  • 5 drops tea-tree essential oil
  • 20 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • Using a funnel, pour all of the liquid ingredients into squirt bottle. Shake to mix. Place soap beside sink and use on dishes, hands and even countertops.

Ordinary Baking Soda

You can buy a box of baking soda for under a dollar. Its mild abrasive action and natural deodorizing properties make it a powerful replacement for commercial scouring powders.

  • Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge to tackle grimy bathtub rings, scour vanities, or remove food deposits from the kitchen sink.
  • For tough grime, make a paste of baking soda and water, apply to the tub or sink, and allow it to stand for 10 to 20 minutes. Dirt, soap scum and deposits soften and are easy to remove.
  • Slow-running drains? Keep bathroom drains running freely by pouring 1/2 to 3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, and adding just enough hot water to wash away the solution. Let stand overnight, then flush thoroughly with hot water. 

If you’re looking for some help to clean your house; give My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency a call. The housekeepers we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.

How to Clean Your Home in 15 Minutes

time flowsCNN recently ran a story offering tips for cleaning a house, top-to-bottom, in 19 minutes. We’d like to do better by providing you instructions for cleaning your entire home in 15 minutes flat. Admittedly, these tips won’t provide you with a deep down clean. And if your home is larger than one bedroom/one bath, you’ll have to allow extra time. But if you follow these steps, your home will pass a cursory inspection, which is great if your mother-in-law decides to drop in unexpectedly. Are you ready? Here we go:

Kitchen (5 minutes)

No matter what the rest of the house looks like, if your kitchen is clean, everything will appear to be in order almost as if by magic. Besides… a sparkling sink will keep germs at bay and will help you stay motivated to move on to other areas.

  • Start with your sink. Empty dishes and silverware and either load them into your dishwasher or quickly wash by hand. (2 minutes)
  • Wipe down the sink with a damp sponge. (30 seconds)
  • Wipe your stove top. (30 seconds)
  • Spray counters with antibacterial cleanser and use a sponge to wipe clean. (1 minute)
  • Sweep the floor. (1 minute)

Living Room (2 minutes)

  • Remove clutter. (1 minute)
  • Fluff the pillows on the sofa. (15 seconds)
  • Dust surfaces with a feather duster or disposable dusting cloth. (30 seconds)
  • Fluff cushions and fold throws. (15 seconds)

Bathroom (3 minutes)

Clean the basin with a wet sponge and bathroom/soap scum cleanser. But don’t stop there. Get the most out of your pre-moistened wipe by using it to clean around the edges of the tub and then the toilet before tossing it.

  • Wipe out the sink (30 seconds).
  • Wipe the toilet seat and rim (30 seconds).
  • Clean the toilet bowl with a disposable brush (30 seconds).
  • Wipe the mirror and faucet (30 seconds).
  • Use a squeegee to wipe down the shower door (1 minute).

Bedroom (5 minutes)

  • Make your bed. Nothing impacts the look of a bedroom more than a made or unmade bed. (2 minutes)
  •  Fold or hang clothing and put away jewelry. (2 minutes)
  • Straighten the top of end tables. (30 seconds).
  • Use a feather duster to clear dust from surfaces. (30 seconds)

If you’re looking for more than a cursory clean; give My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency a call. The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices.
My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.

Spring Has Sprung: 5 Budget-Friendly Ideas for Spring Cleaning

Nature background with green grass and sky and ripped paper. Vector illustration.As we usher in a new season, your thoughts may turn to Spring Cleaning. In past posts, we’ve discussed ways to organize your home. So, this year, to shake things up, we’d like to drill down on an important housecleaning consideration for 2013—how to organize on a budget. All of these ideas are budget friendly as well as effective. So try a few or implement them all. The important thing is to get Spring Cleaning done so you will have time to smell the flowers.

  1. Junk Drawer

It’s the place where you stash anything and everything that doesn’t have an assigned spot in your home. But the problem with junk drawers is that they often become so cluttered, you can’t open the drawer to peek at what’s inside. To tame the mess, we recommend using organizers from a department or discount store. For about $10 per container, you will be able to sort items like tape, scissors and paper clips so you can put everything in its place.

  1. Clothes and Coat Closets

If you can’t hire a team to come out and retrofit your closets with custom dividers, never fear. For under $100, you can buy show racks, plastic sweater boxes and matching hangers. Even if all you do is pull everything out, dust, vacuum and replace it, your closet will be transformed. And if you take the extra time to re-hang/and or fold clothes and line up your shoes so they all face forward, your friends will be amazed.

  1. Linen Closets

Real Simple suggests tidying up towel and sheet storage by using colorful ribbons from gifts. Just tie around sheet sets so individual items won’t stray. This simple step will save you from wasting time having to hunt for matching pieces. And who can argue with the cost? Everyone loves free.

  1. Extra Rooms

If you have the luxury of having a guest room, you have probably grown accustomed to tossing everything into it to deal with later. Spring is the perfect season to face the mess head-on. Empty the closet and replace items according to frequency of use. For example, if you stash wrapping paper in the guest room closet, make sure it’s within easy reach so gift bags and bows won’t tumble out as soon as you slide open the door. Inexpensive plastic bins sold at big box discount centers or arts supply stores offer perfect hiding places for items like this. And who knows? If you take time to clean the guest room closet, your guests might even be able to use it the next time they stay.

  1. Hidden in Plain Sight

If you’re like most people, storage space is at a premium. So try to use Spring Cleaning as the time to strategize about how to stash items that clutter up your countertops. For just a few dollars per item, baskets make great hiding places. Opt for designer brands like the Longaberger or cheap knockoffs from Michaels, you’ll be glad you figured out an attractive spot to stash your stuff.

If you could use some assistance cleaning your home this spring, give My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency a call. We would love to help get realize your housecleaning-related resolutions. The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices.

My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.