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Cleaning your TV Screen for Christmas telly

Ever tried to clean your TV screen and been left with more streaks and marks than when you started? This is for you.

It’s not long now until Christmas, and one thing we can look forward to with the holidays drawing closer, is of course: Christmas telly. But it’s no good if your festive viewing is ruined by a streaky flatscreen. So how do you clean your TV screen without leaving streaks and pesky marks?

Turn the TV off at the mains

This part speaks for its self a little, as you need to see what you’re doing and don’t want to damage yourself or the TV. But beyond that, using any sort of liquid to clean the screen will leave streaks if the TV is turned on as LCD TVs produce heat when they’re on which makes them more susceptible to marking easily.

Use a dry, clean, and lint-free cloth

Be sure that any cloths you’re using to clean your screen are dry. Perhaps rather obviously, your electronics don’t mix well with water, and the screen will benefit from a lighter toucher – so preferably use a lint free cloth. You could even use a feather duster or a microfiber cloth if you have one – but definitely give the kitchen roll a miss at the dusting stage as this will only scratch up the screen. At this stage, use as light a touch as you can, and clean in a slow and circular motion to remove the dust on the screen without leaving a mark.

Get rid of existing marks

If lightly dusting your TV screen still leaves you with a lot of marks, then you probably have existing ones that you need to get rid of. These stubborn markings will likely be too strong for a microfiber cloth, so your best course of action is to get a new cloth and use some distilled water. HelloTech.com recommends that you moisten your cloth with distilled water and never apply any kind of cleaning solution directly onto the screen. This is because this can cause moisture to get into the seal around the screen and will damage the electronics. Simply dampen the cloth very slightly so you can wipe away any stubborn streaks – and then follow up with a dry cloth to get rid of excess moisture.

Worst case scenario: You’ve done everything up until now and the markings are still persisting. But remember, whatever your gut instinct might be, this is not the time to be reaching for cleaning chemicals as they, particularly those with an ammonia base (commonly found in popular brands like Dettol, Flash, and Cif) can break down the protective layers on LCD flat-screen TVs and severely damage the screen.

So what can you do instead?

Use antibacterial wipes

Something we’ve all become more accustomed to having around and using in the COVID-19 pandemic is alcohol-based cleaning wipes. These now might even be the first port of call for cleaning a grubby flat-screen – however, we recommend using a little bit of distilled water alongside it to decrease the strength of the alcohol and avoid damaging the screen with it. Do this, and use a very light touch and it should do the job nicely and safely.

Note: As you are still using water, all of our previous advice about turning off electronics and drying the screen afterwards still applies.

Try some DIY Remedies

And no, these aren’t urban myths like your Gran might’ve recommended back in the day. Our cleaning experts can recommend some effective DIY home solutions to this decidedly modern problem.

The first one you might want to try involves using the materials you should’ve already attempted, along with another food product that most will already have at home. Combine a mix of 50% white wine vinegar with 50% distilled water. The Kitchn recommends combining DIY remedies like this in a spray bottle and then spraying it onto a lint-free cloth. Again, wipe in a circular motion to avoid any more streaks, then wipe excess mixture with a dry cloth to stop the vinegar sticking on the screen or seeping behind it.

You could also try using a very small amount of dish soap – but at a very very small ratio as the bubbles could easily get out of hand. Simply follow the same process of combining distilled water in a spray bottle and spraying on a lint-free cloth and rubbing in circles, before drying off with a dry cloth.

Call in the Experts

If you would rather leave all of your domestic cleaning needs to the professionals, get in touch with us. To find your nearest Merry Maids, click here.

The 12 Cleans of Christmas (Part Two)

Twelve things around the house that you probably aren’t cleaning regularly, but you should be.

Following Part One of our 12 Cleans of Christmas last week, we’re bringing you the final six items to be cleaning regularly this Christmas and New Year. If you missed the first six items, you can find last week’s blog detailing them here.

  1. Sink P Traps

‘A what?’ I hear you exclaim. Fear not, it’s actually rather simple. A p trap is that curved portion of pipe that sits beneath the drain of your kitchen or bathroom sink – named for its ‘P’-shaped curve. If you’ve ever noticed an unpleasant smell coming from a sink in your home – this is probably the cause.

To clean it, clear some space under or around the sink to work with, and then all you’re going to need is a wrench, and a bucket to catch any runoff trapped water and mess inside the trap. Loosen the bolts connecting the trap to the main pipe and then remove it. Flush and/or clean out the trap with some water, a brush or wire and viola – a clean sink p trap. After you’ve reattached the trap, you’ll want to make sure you’ve screwed it back on tightly and then run some water through it for about 30 seconds to check it for leaks.

  1. Bathroom fans and Shower Holders

Staying in the bathroom for this one, another thing on your Christmas cleaning checklist should be the bathroom fan. This can have a number of benefits, such as ridding your bathroom of smells and odours, removes airborne contaminants from cleaning products, and reducing moisture in the air. As well as this, a clogged up and dirty fan is less efficient and not as effective at protecting your bathroom from the build-up and mould and damp.

To clean it, first remove the vent cover by gently pulling it down and exposing the fan. Some fans may have screws or spring clips that you’ll need to undo first. To clean the cover, fill your sink with warm, soapy water and let it soak for a bit – then give it a good scrubbing down. You can then let it air dry whilst you get on with cleaning the exhaust fan. To be safe, unplug the fan or turn of the power to the bathroom at the mains. Once this is done, you can give it a good vacuum or dusting and wipe it down with warm soapy water or anti-bacterial wipes. When you’re done and everything is dry, replace the cover and you’re all done!

If your shower has been humid because of an ineffective fan, you are likely more susceptible to a dirty shower storage container/caddy. You should be cleaning any containers in your shower, at a minimum, once a month. For a DIY solution to a dirty caddy, you can soak them in water and 1½ cups of vinegar for 20 minutes, then scrub and rinse it with fresh water. Mix some baking soda with water to form a paste and scrub the container with this and pour on another cup of vinegar. The reaction from the baking soda and vinegar will bubble and fizz – but this is good, it means the solution is breaking down any dirt and scum. Then rinse with clean water and dry with a clean towel to stop any spots developing.

  1. Lampshades, Lightbulbs and Light Switches

Lampshades are another thing in the home that we all have, but don’t necessarily clean that often, as it’s often easy to forget they’re up there. Well, consider this your reminder. Lampshades can accumulate quite large amounts of cobwebs and dust throughout the year, so cleaning them is important. For fabric lampshades, you can easily clean them with duster or brush attachment on your vacuum – just use a gentle touch and make sure the lights are off. For glass lampshades, you can use the dishwasher; simply unscrew the shade, put it on the top rack and pop a cycle on.

 

You probably haven’t ever given much thought to cleaning your lightbulbs either – we don’t blame you. But these can also attract dust, making them potentially hazardous when hot, and also dimmer! Just give them a wipe down with a cloth when they’re switched off to make sure they’re dust and grime free.

 

Something you may have considered more recently is, however, light switches. These are definitely considered high touch point areas, and can be a hotbed of germs and other bacteria transferred from hands – so it’s good to get into the habit of disinfecting them regularly (if you’re not already doing so). You can easily do this by giving them a quick wipe down with some anti-bacterial wipes.

 

  1. Pillows, Duvets and Mattresses

If you have company coming to stay for Christmas, children returning from university, whatever it is: you might want to give some thought to cleaning your bedding. And we don’t just mean the sheets either – we mean what’s underneath. Now, it’s worth checking the specifics of your bedding, as most of it can be machine washed, but some of it may need dry cleaning due to size or product specific specifications. You obviously can’t machine wash a mattress – but it is still worth giving it a hoover and spot-cleaning it with stain remover regularly to rid it of any bed bugs, dust, and grime. You can also try bringing out the baking soda again to absorb and break down odours and moisture – though this will need a light sprinkling left overnight and hoovered up again. Be sure to also flip the mattress and clean both sides thoroughly.

  1. TV remotes

Whether you call it by its name, or whatever amalgamation of random syllables comes to mind when you ask someone to pass it to you, you can’t have Christmas telly without the remote. Research performed to study the cleanliness of a hotel room found that remote controls were the most germ-infested item in the room. And they get a lot of use over the holidays – making them another high touch point item to disinfect regularly this Christmas. Fortunately, rubbing alcohol can sanitise your remote quickly and easily. Pour a bit on a paper towel, or use an antibacterial wipe, and scrub every inch of the remote to ensure it is thoroughly disinfected.

  1. Houseplants

You might not think it, but houseplants need cleaning too. A surprising amount of dust can settle and accumulate on the leaves of houseplants – real or fake. You can also place smaller ones in the sink before watering and give the leaves a rinse to get rid of pests. Then let them drip-dry out of any sunlight.

Well, that’s all folks! With that, we have reached the end of our 12 Cleans of Christmas. Be sure to stay on top of cleaning these 12 items over Christmas and into the New Year, for a lovely clean home. But that’s not all, keep your eyes on the Merry Maids blog throughout the holiday season for more festive cleaning content, including some top tips on cleaning in winter.

And if you want to leave your winter cleaning to the professionals, why not get in touch with us? You can give us a call and speak to our cleaning experts on 0800 021 3072, or find your local Merry Maids UK here.

5 Top tips for cleaning in winter

When you think about cleaning, your mind might immediately jump to the spring. But the warmer months aren’t the only time you should be focused on cleaning. Winter is fast approaching, and with it are a host of season-specific cleaning considerations.

If this seems a little daunting, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list of five things that you can do to get a head start on the housework this winter.

  1. Give your radiators a good seeing to

One of the most important things in the home during the winter is, of course, the radiators. We depend on them for warmth when the temperature starts to drop. So why not make sure you’re giving them the best treatment possible? During the year, dust will have accumulated around, and possibly even in your radiators, which will mean that they won’t be working to their full potential.

To combat this, there are a few things you can do:

  • Use your everyday cotton cleaning cloth and give the radiators a good wipe down. Make sure you get all around the radiator, including the top and bottom areas.
  • Take a long-distance brush, like a duster (if it’s extendable, that’s even better). Then move it in and out of the top vent to be sure that you’re getting as much of that pesky dust as you can. 
  1. Clean off that computer

Due to the COVID19 pandemic, something we are all more aware of is the process of cleaning and disinfecting our personal items like laptops and computers. With many still working from home, they have become more crucial in our day to day lives than ever before. But even when not working over the festive period, it’s important to remember to keep up the practice of thoroughly cleaning your devices – even if all you’re doing is snuggling up with a hot drink and a Netflix series.

Beyond wiping down your screen and keyboard, here are a couple of other things you can do to give your laptop/computer a good clear out:

  • Vacuum all of the visible air vents.
  • Spray a can of compressed air into your keyboard slots and vents to get rid of any dust and grime. As well as keeping it clean, this may also alleviate the stress on your computer’s fan and help stop the system from overheating.
  1. Shield your floors from mud

We’re all familiar with the fickle winter weather in the UK. The last thing you want is to get caught out by a surprise turn and end up trekking mud, or even snow, throughout the house. If you don’t already have them, we recommend investing in a few doormats in order to avoid bringing any germs, mud, and other debris into the home and onto your floors.

If you already have some, great! Another thing you can do is make sure you have somewhere off of the floor to store your shoes like a box or shoe rack. Or you could put down an old bit of carpet, some sheeting, or a shoe rug, and place them on there to create a barrier between any muddy soles and the floor.

  1. Clean out that ‘Chim Cher-ee’

When you think of a festive scene, one of the first things that comes to mind might be chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Whilst keeping your home nice and cosy this winter is a top priority for most, if you plan on doing this with an open fire, we recommend clearing your chimney – if you have one. This is because the dirt and chemicals that will have built up over the past year could turn into a fire hazard and potentially cause an influx of smoke into your home.

And no, don’t worry, it won’t be Dick Van Dyke coming round with his peaked cap and long brush to do it. The methods have improved since the Victorian era! Nowadays, technology and equipment are far more efficient.

  1. Keep your supplies clean

After all your winter cleaning, your house is likely looking spotless. But remember, to keep getting the same results every time, it’s important to make sure that you’re keeping your cleaning supplies in good nick too.

To do this, here are a few things you can do:

  • Fill your sink with hot, soapy water and put any sponges and cloths you might have used in for a good soak. Be sure to properly disinfect them too!
  • Vacuum any debris from your brooms or sweeping brushes, and disinfect your mop.
  • When this is done, give your vacuum a wipe down and empty it out or change the bag if you need to.
  • If your duster is detachable, you might want to pop it in the wash along with your cleaning cloths.

And if this all seems like a lot of work, but you still want to keep your home looking clean and pristine this Christmas, why not get in touch with us? Find your local Merry Maids UK here and get that same spotless shine every single time!

Planning a Stress-Free Christmas Dinner Party

Whether you’re hosting a large group of friends and family at your house or cooking up a feast for your immediate family, it can be stressful to plan for a holiday dinner party – especially if you’re acting as head-chef, sous-chef and server throughout the event. After all, these meals most probably involve multiple courses, your best silverware and china you only get out for Christmas, and a whole lot of decorations: It’s enough to make anyone go mad!

Christmas Dinner Party

With the right planning, however, you’ll be well on your way to a more stress-free and satisfying Christmas. In some cases, your planning process may even include delegating out the cleaning chores and kitchen tasks to the rest of the family or housemates, so that you can focus on being the perfect party host for your guests.

Below, we’ve put together a few Christmas party ideas to make your planning and Christmas dinner easier.

Define your menu

Christmas dinners are always based around one thing – you guessed it – lots and lots of delicious food, it’s important to start here before you plan anything else, and see if you can cut back in any area.

If you’re cooking all the food yourself, you should first consider enlisting a few elves to help, or if you can’t find any elves, friends or family to help in the kitchen.

While it can be fun to go all out for this kind of event, make sure that your menu doesn’t put too much stress on your own plate and is simple enough to produce.

After you put together a holiday dinner menu, ask yourself these questions:

  • How many guests will I have, and what are their dietary needs and restrictions?
  • What recipes do I plan to use?
  • What’s the timescale to make this meal from beginning to end?
  • Can I make any dishes ahead of time?
  • Am I comfortable using these recipes?
  • Do I want it to be a potluck dinner and have guests bring unique side dishes? – This can give you more time for you to be the perfect host, as you won’t be in the kitchen as much.
  • Will there be young children there, and if so, will they have a separate menu?

Once you have the answers to these questions, go back to the drawing board and eliminate anything that will add unnecessary time to your meal preparations. Pretty soon, you’ll find that your menu accurately reflects the needs of your group and plays to your individual strengths as a cook, making it easier to get ready.

It’s also a good idea to create your ingredient shopping list early on, so you won’t be running to the shops to grab anything later.

Put down the cocktail shaker

For a lot of us, a seasonal cocktail is just as important as the Christmas dinner itself. However, you don’t have to practice your bartending skills all year round and play bartender to give your guests an amazing time. It’s much easier to make cocktail batches in advance, which you can include on a decorated bar cart with ice, napkins, garnishes, and other essentials. Don’t drink? There’s always some alcohol-free punches that taste heavenly as well!

Some of the best holiday cocktail recipes to make in a batch include:

  • A delicious apple mocktail, like a Caramel Apple Mocktail
  • One for the bah humbugs to get them in the Christmas mood, a Grinch Punch
  • Classic hot drinks, like Martha Stewart’s mulled wine
  • One for all the lovers out there, a Mistletoe Margarita
  • A festive winter sangria, like this one from Joyful Healthy Eats

Whatever you make, be sure you and your guests drink responsibly.

Pre dinner party cleaning

Whether you’re picking up the duster yourself or delegating the cleaning to someone else, it’s critical to include pre-party cleaning time in your schedule. Unless guests will be wandering throughout the house, focus on high-traffic areas like the kitchen, living room, and dining room. In general, the cleaning should be completed no more than two days before the guests arrive.

Get the right ambience

You don’t need to go mad with decorations to make your home feel cosy and welcoming. After all, a dinner party is primarily about one thing: food!

As long as your house is clean and your tables are ready to go, you’ll be well on your way to holiday bliss.

That being said, we’ve got a few easy tricks you can use to boost the ambience in your space:

  • Set the mood with the right holiday playlist. Just use Alexa or Google Home to put on some Christmas favourites and your home will instantly feel Christmas party-ready.
  • Make space for shoes and coats. Don’t have a coat or shoe rack? No problem: Pick out a designated closet and be sure there are enough hangers for coats. Then lay down a mat or a rug for guests to place their shoes. Alternatively, if no one is staying in the spare room, put the coats neatly labelled on the bed.
  • Open the windows before your guests show up. It may be a bit chilly outside, but it’s a good idea to give your dining area a blast of fresh air right before guests arrive. You’ll eliminate any lingering odours from all of the festive cooking, and the room will warm up again in no time.
  • Light up a few scented candles. Candles are a great way to communicate warmth and comfort to your guests. They may even think you’ve been baking for hours if you choose the right one!

Need a Helping Hand This Year?

At Merry Maids, we provide top-notch cleaning services so that you can rest a little easier before your dinner party. By delivering a detailed clean we can guarantee, our cleaning experts will let your home’s natural beauty shine through. From entryways to bathrooms to staircases, your guests will be wowed by your home!

We’re wishing you a very happy and stress-free holiday season! Find your nearest Merry Maids to get your home sparkling for your dinner party.