Tag Archive for: Cleaning Facts

Merry Maids’ Pre-Christmas Cleaning Checklist

Our guide to getting all your pre-Christmas cleaning done. 

Christmas is on its way!

Are you planning to host a Christmas party or spend Christmas Day with the whole family?

If you are, you may want to tidy up before the guests arrive.

But with so much to do, Christmas cleaning can feel overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve made a list (and we’ve checked it twice) of handy pre-Christmas cleaning tasks to ensure your cleaning and home can stay in order this festive season.


Guest Bedroom Pre-Christmas Cleaning

If you have a spare or guest room, the temptation may be to use it for… “storage”.

However, around this time of year, ensure your spare bedroom(s) are cleaned for any unexpected overnight guests.

Just in case a white Christmas or extra glass of sherry mean that driving home for Christmas home becomes inadvisable.

When cleaning your spare bedroom, remember to:

  • Change the sheets/bedding & duvets so they are clean and fresh for your guests. A quick tip to make them even fresher smelling is to wash them separately from any clothes
  • Vacuum and polish the guest room to ensure the room has a welcoming scent

If your guest room isn’t used that often, it may not be as welcoming as other rooms.

  • You can potentially get a few paintings or photos up in the room, maybe a houseplant or anything else you may feel is welcoming

Your guests are likely to be staying more than one night. Therefore, they’ll need space for their clothes and other belongings. So:

  • Empty the wardrobe and drawers of usually all of your summer clothes or the: “I’ll take these to a charity shop one-day” clothes. This will ensure your guest has sufficient space and will feel more at home instead of living out of their suitcase

Kitchen Pre-Christmas Cleaning

The kitchen is usually the centre of the action at Christmas.

Especially with the mulled wine brewing on the stove, it makes it feel warm and festive!

First, your oven should be clean to ensure it’s ready for the juicy turkey or tasty nut roast!

  • Buy an oven cleaning product and follow the instructions on the label, as there are lots of different products you can use
  • A clean oven will make your food taste better and won’t produce smoke that would float around the house and make it smell unpleasant.

You’ll probably have to put LOADS of food in your fridge and freezer, so it’s time for a clear-out.

A clean and less cluttered fridge will allow space for all pigs in blankets, wine and pudding!

  • Have a clean fridge for all of your Christmas food
    – Remove all food, drawers and shelves
    – Soak drawers and shelves in washing up liquid
    – Use warm water and washing-up liquid to wipe the interior
    – Wipe outer surfaces and dry inside with kitchen roll
    – Dry and return the drawers/shelves
    – Wait until the temperature has returned to 5°C

Bathroom Pre-Christmas Cleaning

The wintertime is the time of year when people get horrid colds that they can’t shake.

That’s why pre-cleaning the bathroom and maintaining the cleanliness throughout the time your guests are here is vital.

  • Clean the bathroom from top to bottom, including the bath, shower, sink, toilet, carpet, cupboards and anything else you may have in there.
  • Tidy up your bathroom to leave space for your guest’s toiletries, or if you have two washrooms, move all your toiletries to the bathroom your guests won’t be using. This will again make them feel at home.

Living Room Pre-Christmas Cleaning

Your living room is the social and board gaming hub, with the fire roaring in the background and the smell of Christmas all around. Lovely!

  • Vacuum your living room carpet before your guests arrive and during their stay, depending on how long they’re there for
  • Vacuum all of your upholstery and cushions before guests arrive
  • Have a general tidy-up and, if you have time, a bit of a declutter of things you don’t need during the winter period

Home Exterior Pre-Christmas Cleaning

Ensure the outside of your house looks welcoming for your guests and any neighbours that might pop around to wish you a Merry Christmas.

  • Clean your outside decorations just by wiping them with a dry cloth
  • Clean your windows on the inside and outside
  • Ensure, if you have a drive, you’ve left enough space for your guest’s car/s or, if it’s on-street parking, there is enough space for them. If necessary, remember to sort out their on-street parking permits.

A bit much?

All this cleaning might seem like a bit much, especially with all the extra Christmas prep.

If you don’t feel like you have time to clean your home, find your nearest Merry Maids business to do it all for you!

We carry out all the services listed above and more, so you can focus on the stuff that matters at Christmas and not do the cleaning.

To learn more about our services and how we can help you, call 0800 021 3072 today.

Age appropriate chores for children

Our tips for responsible and age-appropriate chores for your little ones. 

Teaching children to pitch in and help with housekeeping at a young age is vital.

After all, they have to start learning responsibility to succeed in life, but how do you know which chores young kids will be capable of handling?

If only you had an age-appropriate chore list to check…

Oh, look: our cleaning experts at Merry Maids UK have produced one just for you!

Use the following chart to assign chores for kids by age, whether a parent, grandparent, teacher or babysitter.

We also give you a few tips on how to keep your children motivated and chores fun.

Children Age 2 – 3

  • Pick up toys
  • Help set the table
  • Throw trash away when instructed
  • Place their clothes in a laundry basket
  • Wipe lower cabinet doors

Tip: Kids this age love to use their imagination, so think of ways to turn chores into fun and imaginative games.

Children Age 4 – 5

  • Put toys and books away
  • Set and clear the table
  • Pick out clothes for the next day
  • Sweep small areas with a handheld broom
  • Fold towels

Tip: Children aged four to five can get overwhelmed with too many instructions.

Ensure you assign one task at a time. To de-stress, consider singing silly songs as you work.

Tip: With a tiled kitchen, you can use a bit of masking tape to make a square, then get your child to sweep everything into this small square.

Children Age 6 – 7

  • Put away clean silverware
  • Help clean the bedroom
  • Wipe down bathroom surfaces
  • Unload the dishwasher
  • Load and unload the washing machine and tumble dryer

Tip: Give six and seven-year-olds plenty of recognition for how well they are doing as their confidence develops around this time.

You can make chores more enjoyable by turning them into games.

Children Age 8 – 9

  • Help prepare meals with supervision
  • Dust and vacuum
  • Feed, brush and walk pets
  • Empty trash cans
  • Fold towels and put clothes away

Tip: Consider buying kids this age their own brightly coloured, child-friendly kitchen utensils and get them to wash these up after every meal.

This will ramp up the fun factor and make them feel more independent.

Children Age 10 – 12

  • Laundry and ironing
  • Gardening jobs
  • Cook simple meals
  • Wash dishes by hand or load the dishwasher
  • Clean the kitchen

Tip: Start incentivising kids at this age.

Devise a routine list of chores for kids by age and reward them with weekly pocket money, extra screen time, and a trip to get ice cream or see a movie.

Children Age 13 and up

  • Make full meals
  • Clean the shower, tub, sink, and toilet
  • Clean out the refrigerator
  • Babysit for younger siblings

Tip: Rewards and incentives still work well.

Ensure you continue to recognise the additional responsibilities your children can take on so they know their help is appreciated.

There may be a little trial and error involved with different age groups.

Every child’s development is different, so give kids a new task if they have difficulty completing the original assignment.

Remember, when dealing with children and chores, there is no such thing as too much praise.

Let kids know you’re proud of their efforts.

It will make them feel good, and they’ll want to keep helping to get more positive feedback.

Learn More

Looking for more insights on children and chores?

Check out our post on fun cleaning games with kids.

And if you’re finding that life has you too busy to even think about cleaning your home, contact your local Merry Maids!

We’re happy to lend a hand so you can free up more time to do what you love with the people you care for the most.

Coronation Activity Guide

Want to know what you can do to mark the coronation of King Charles III?

With the coronation of King Charles III just around the corner, many are wondering how they can celebrate.

And can you blame them? It’s been a while since there was last a coronation in the UK, so the celebration activities aren’t exactly a force of habit.

Rather than letting the day slip by unmarked, here is a list of ways you and your family can celebrate the coronation this weekend.

Fun for the kids

Royal Arts & Crafts

There are lots of activities that the kids can get involved in this weekend.

Particularly those involving arts in crafts.

For some inspiration, try making:

  • Crowns using strips of paper
  • Paper flags using rectangles of paper and lolly sticks.

For tips and alternative methods, check out three ways to make a homemade flag.

For more inspiration, including card carriages and homemade bunting, check out this article from Twinkl on 10 Regal Coronation Crafts.

Writing letters and cards to Buckingham Palace

The King also takes a great interest in correspondence with his subjects. Writing letters and cards to send to Buckingham Palace are a great way to celebrate the occasion.

For guidance on the correct ways to format your correspondence, please visit www.royal.uk/contact

Fun for everyone

For some activities that people of all ages can participate in, look no further than…

Creating a time capsule

Take objects and souvenirs that remind you of 2023 and the royal weekend (maybe even some of your crafts) and bury them in the garden so that, in years to come, you can look back on this time with fondness and nostalgia.

This could include a family photo, money, letters, newspapers and stamps.

Place it all in a secure container and bury it to be dug up in future.

For a step-by-step Time Capsule building (and burying) guide, check out this article from Millets.

Hosting a garden party

To celebrate a royal occasion, there is nothing better than a street or garden party.

While the date to register a road closure to host your street party has passed, there may still be one in your area.

Failing that, a good old-fashioned garden party never goes amiss.

Just don’t forget the bunting, finger sandwiches and scones!

For more activity inspiration and to find events near you this weekend and beyond, check out this coronation event map and locator from the UK Government.

A clean fit for a king

Tidy up your palace with Merry Maids UK.

Whether you’re expecting company or restoring tranquillity after they’ve gone, we know you have better things to do than spend your holiday cleaning.

Our experts have over 30 years of experience in delivering home cleaning services, so you can trust us to provide a royal treatment!

For a one-off deep clean or regular services as little or often as you like, find your local Merry Maids business today or book online in select locations.

How to declutter your clutter

Top home organisation and decluttering tips from Merry Maids UK. 

We’ve all got those items in our home that we haven’t used for a while (or never used!)

With spring upon us, now is the perfect time for a spring clean and a good old-fashioned clear out.

At Merry Maids UK, we love a clean and tidy space.

Not only does it look nicer, but it also helps your health and mood!

Our cleaning experts have spent years helping customers across the UK reduce the clutter in their homes.

That’s why we’ve compiled our top decluttering and organisation tips to help you keep a clean home.

  1. Organise your time

When it comes to spring cleaning, proper organisation is vital!

If you don’t know where to start, you will make spring cleaning harder for yourself.

First, get your tasks in order by listing your chores.

Structure your list a room at a time and in order of how you’ll do them – for example, all vacuuming tasks.

Even just a mental note will help.

One barrier to getting the job done is the mental effect.

Overcoming your mind and hesitancy is one of the best things you can do to ensure you get your cleaning done.

So, take the individual tasks and cut them down into smaller jobs. Soon, a big task has become much more manageable.

In taking it step by step, soon, it isn’t a big task after all!

The organisation focuses your efforts on smaller tasks, which are more achievable and, in the end, more rewarding when the tasks are completed.

  1. Envision a clean home

Having a goal and vision is a vital part of your cleaning strategy.

You know where you’re trying to end up.

Imagine your home the cleanest it’s ever been, and try and set your goal to make your house look like that.

With that goal in mind, you can start asking yourself valuable questions.

  1. Do you need it?

To avoid keeping clutter around, you need to evaluate your items.

Ask yourself four simple questions about everything in your home:

  1. Should I throw it away?
  2. Do I want to recycle it?
  3. Do I want to give it to charity or a friend?
  4. Is there any need for me to keep it?

Get into the right mindset and be ruthless with what you throw away.

Remember, you don’t need to save everything.

  1. Don’t be a hoarder

If there’s one trap many of us fall into, it’s thinking: “You never know when you might need it.”

Remember, when decluttering, you need to be ruthless.

If you haven’t used an item regularly or at all for the past year, throw or give it away.

Here are some items that are usually the common “you never know” culprits:

  • Plastic Food Containers – One of the main culprits for cupboard Jenga is plastic food containers.

Why we keep them around, nobody knows. But one thing is sure: they’re always stacked precariously and filling up a whole cupboard.

  • Batteries – When batteries are dead, many people head into the kitchen and straight to ‘The Junk Drawer’, where they sit… forever!
  • Toys – Far too many. Plain and simple. And where did they all come from? Any parent can attest to having boxes and boxes of toys.

While it can seem brutal to bin or donate your child’s toys, some probably don’t get played with anymore.

And getting your child to help with the selection and organisation teaches them positive habits for the future.

  • Wires and tech – Everybody on Earth has a drawer full of old wiring and tech.

How many of them do you know what they’re for? Is your ancient Nokia brick going to need charging anytime soon?

It’s safe to say that you can get rid of them.

To better organise the items in your home, try some handy tech by checking out some unique storage and organisation solutions.

  1. Book time with your books

We’re not psychic. But we bet, in your kitchen, you have at least ten recipe books.

Do you use all of these books regularly? The answer is probably no.

Rather than take up space with shelves full of books, one quick tip is to photocopy your favourite recipes and put them in one of those empty recipe books with plastic wallets.

Book in time with Merry Maids

There are many ways to declutter your home. But it takes time.

In the modern world, we don’t always have the time to dedicate to cleaning and decluttering our homes.

At Merry Maids, our local cleaning experts do the cleaning to give you the time to focus on what matters to you.

To benefit from one-off, regular or deep cleaning services, find your nearest Merry Maids business today.

How to clean a hot tub in 5 easy steps

Our guide to making sure your hot tub stays clean and hygienic.

As the nights draw in, if you’re a hot tub owner you may be thinking about getting your tub out for one final use before it gets too chilly, or putting it away to save on energy costs. But before you send your hot tub into hibernation, it’s a good idea to give it a proper clean to avoid germs, bacteria, and mould from incubating during the autumn and winter.

  1. Drain the tub (and lines)

Draining the lines:

Hot tubs are designed to keep water at that lovely, warm temperature that makes it so inviting to sit and soak in. However, what is an inviting temperature to us humans, is also unfortunately the same for many types of mould and bacteria. That’s why it’s sometimes advisable to consider flushing out the lines of your hot tub before you drain the water, as this means you’re not just refilling the water through the same mould and bacteria-infested lines. Specialist line flushes can be bought online or from the right hardware shops to get the job done best.

Draining the tub:

For the benefit of both your tub and your hygiene, you should be draining your hot tub every three months anyway. But to give it a proper clean, you certainly need to drain it first. The first port of call, if you haven’t cleaned your lines (and second if you have), is to turn off the power to your tub. This is especially if you’re using a pump as water and electricity do not mix, and using machinery to drain the tub with the power still on puts you in danger.

Even just draining the tub through the usual means (specified in your tub’s manual) with the power still on can damage both the filtration mechanisms and motors as the pump can restart, thinking you don’t have enough water in the tub and start refilling itself. So, however you go about it, just make sure you’ve drained your tub before you start cleaning.

  1. Clean the surface and jets

Now that you’ve drained the tub, you can get to work on scrubbing the surface clean. All you need to do is wipe away any garden debris, dirt and other sediments that may have accumulated over the summer.

It’s recommended that you avoid regular household cleaning products when wiping down your hot tub, as the pH levels of these products can often disagree with the tub, damaging the shell and causing issues further down the line.

As an alternative, you can buy specialist cleaners just for this job, which protect your tub’s shell from damage that can be done by the abrasive particles in regular cleaners.

Alternatively, this spa and hot tub guide from King County details a handy DIY mixture that is similar to the chlorine cleaner which you can purchase in the UK from places like UK Pool Store. The store-bought mixture is about 50 parts per million (ppm), and the same effect can be achieved by mixing ¼ teaspoon of dichlor into 5 gallons (19 L) of water.

Or, for other handy DIY solutions, check out this list of DIY hot tub cleaners from Tips Bulletin.

Once you’ve finished, give the tub a wipe-down with a towel to restore the chemical balance of the tub and ensure that you’re not leaving a breeding habitat for mould and bacteria behind.

  1. Remove and clean filters

Removing filters:

The next step is to give your filters a clean. To do this you need to remove them from the tub by accessing the panel or cabinet around your pump. We’d also advise you to take a picture of the filter assembly before you take it apart so you know what it’s supposed to look like when it comes time to put it back together.

Spraying them down:

Once removed from your tub, wash your filters by spraying them with water. The goal here is simply to remove any lingering residue from the filter, so simply using your standard garden hose is all you need here.

You don’t need or want to use any sort of brush here, as this can just cause dirt to become trapped deeper in the filter. Then, if you made up a dichlor and water solution or have some tub cleaner on hand, use this to scrub the inside of your filter cabinet to avoid bacteria from growing in there.

Soak with cutting oil and disinfect:

Now (if available to you), give your filter a soak for a minimum of 60 mins in an oil-cutting solution.

Cutting oils are essentially a type of coolant that is designed for use in metalworking processes which help to keep the temperature, maximise the lifespan, ensure the safety of, and prevent rust on machine parts and metalwork. So, using one on your filter ensures that it is at its best once you return it to the tub.

Then, following the previous King County measurements (¼ teaspoon dichlor and 19L of water), disinfect your filter in your homemade 50-ppm chlorine solution. This should get rid of any remaining contaminants or grime that is left after the cutting solution soaking.

Or dishwash:

Alternatively, skip the oil soak entirely by cleaning your filter in the dishwasher twice over, turning it over in-between cycles. Just make sure you check your manual to see if it’s safe to put your filter in the dishwasher first and make sure you turn off the heat-dry cycle beforehand. Now just reinstall your filters and make sure everything is back in its original position and secure.

  1. Spot-clean specific areas

Once you’ve reinstalled your filters, clean around the other areas of the tub using warm water, a cloth, and specific cleaning agents (where necessary).

Key areas to clean:
  • Seat cushions (and the shell behind them).
  • The cover: Wipe down at least once a month and clean the underside by removing the cover and spraying it with a hose. Cleaners aren’t needed for this side.
  • Panels: Prevent any build-up of bacteria by wiping down the shell of your tub using a soft cloth and a neutral detergent to clean the outer panels before wiping away any remaining residue.
  1. Refill the tub

Now that you’re finished with the cleaning, you can refill the tub by running it back through the filter at first and then into the reservoir. Then turn the power back on to the tub and wait for a few moments to check for issues as the tub runs on hot.

Need a hand with your cleaning?

There’s a lot involved in cleaning a tub, just like every other cleaning job to do in around the house. By finding your nearest Merry Maids business today, you can enlist the help of domestic cleaning professionals for one-off or regular cleaning of your house, so you can get the time back to do what matters.

To find out more and book your free, no-obligation quotation on a range of professional and bespoke cleaning services, give us a call on 0800 021 3072 now.

Vinegar: The miracle cleaner!

Why vinegar is the powerhouse of DIY home cleaning solutions.

Distilled white vinegar enjoys a well-earned reputation as a cleaning superstar. But why is that?

For starters, it’s strong and it’s green. Not literally of course, but white wine vinegar can be used to clean many household surfaces and items that other DIY solutions just can’t hack. And it does so whilst managing to stay tough on grime without harming the environment.

However, it’s not perfect and does come with a few constraints and you could do some damage to your home if you go around applying it too liberally.

That’s why the cleaning experts at Merry Maids are here to give you some of the biggest “do’s and don’ts” for using white vinegar. And, to help you on your way, we’ve also provided a few DIY cleaning recipes using vinegar that can make your housekeeping a little easier.

Vinegar: The Faux Pas (or, what not to clean)

Green cleaning solutions have become more and more popular over the years. As a result, you can now find hundreds of vinegar cleaner recipes on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. Although vinegar has many advantages over conventional cleaning products, it’s important to keep in mind that vinegar is still an acid and a chemical – and therefore has the power to corrode some surfaces. For example, it can “etch” expensive marble or granite counters, leaving discoloured and dull spots behind.

  1. Avoid delicate surfaces

Here’s a quick list of surfaces that you shouldn’t clean with vinegar:

  • Any type of stone surface (including slate, marble, granite, and ceramic)
  • Linoleum & hardwood flooring
  • Unsealed grout
  • Clothes irons
  • Electronics and screens
  • Waxed or finished wood furniture
  • Carbon steel knives
  • Cast iron cookware
  • Aluminium (often used in appliances)

Of course, this list of surfaces isn’t exhaustive: Many materials can be warped, damaged, or dulled by using an acid such as vinegar. To protect your furniture, always do your research before applying vinegar to an unidentified surface. You can also (and should) perform a small patch test before you start cleaning, ideally in a hidden spot. That way, you’ll know exactly what to expect from your vinegar-cleaning efforts.

  1. Never use vinegar with bleach

A lot of cleaning and sanitising solutions contain bleach, thanks to its incredible properties as a disinfectant. But whatever you do, don’t ever mix white vinegar with bleach products – and especially don’t mix these two chemicals in a DIY solution. When combined, vinegar and bleach create toxic chlorine gas, which is deadly.

  1. Does vinegar harm plastic?

Many repair technicians will tell you never to use vinegar in plastic compartments, such as those found in your dishwasher or washing machine. While it isn’t outright dangerous to use vinegar with these appliances, traces of vinegar can weaken synthetic rubber seals over time. However, if your plastics are made from natural rubber or a substance such as polypropylene or silicone, it’s probably safe to use vinegar.

  1. Egg?!

Vinegar cleaners and food don’t always mix. For example, vinegar can react when mixed with the protein enzymes in egg spills and cause them to coagulate. In plain English, you’ll have an even harder time cleaning up a Saturday morning omelette disaster. The same applies to pearls, which can dissolve or dull when cleaned with vinegar.

How to clean with vinegar

But don’t let all that stop you, vinegar does come in handy when cleaning many different areas of the house. And it’s inexpensive and all-natural to boot!

White vinegar is a great stain remover for certain fabrics. When added during the final rinse of your laundry, the acetic acid in white vinegar will eliminate alkaline residues from soap, which has the effect of brightening up the colours of your clothes. Not only that but vinegar can also be used as a spot treatment for yellowing underarms, as it helps to break up the leftover deodorant on clothes.

Here are a few other stains and spills that can be removed with vinegar:

  • Gum: Soak leftover sticky spots for at least 10 minutes and then launder.
  • Grass: You can loosen grass stains by giving white clothing a half-hour pre-soak with vinegar.
  • Coffee, tea, and juice: Dilute vinegar to 1/3rd strength with water before applying to a dried spot, then launder.

DIY Vinegar Cleaning Solutions

Ready to try out the wonders of vinegar on the rest of your household? Our Merry Maids cleaning experts have come up with three DIY uses for vinegar that can help with your cleaning routine. These are:

  1. Chrome and Stainless-Steel Cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • A spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloths

What to do:

First, pour the vinegar into the bottle and spray it directly on your chrome and stainless-steel surfaces. Then, wipe the vinegar away with a microfiber cloth. Finally, buff any streaks with a clean microfiber cloth.

  1. Window and Glass Cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water
  • A spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloths or coffee filters

What to do:

First, mix equal parts vinegar and water in your spray bottle. Then, mist the windows with the liquid, making sure you don’t apply too much solution, or you’ll end up with streaks. Finally, working from top to bottom, wipe the windows clean using a microfiber cloth or coffee filter. If you start to see streaks, then you should switch to a fresh cloth or filter.

  1. Toilet Bowl Cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar, separated into halves
  • A toilet brush
  • A spray bottle
  • A clean microfibre cloth

What to do:

First, pour ½ cup of the vinegar into your toilet bowl. Let this sit for about three to five minutes. Add the remaining ½ cup of vinegar to the spray bottle, and mist the rim of the toilet. This should also sit for three to five minutes. Scrub the bowl with your toilet brush, and wipe down the rim of the toilet with your microfiber cloth. Flush when you’ve finished.

When used correctly, vinegar can be great for your household – and your wallet. Affordable, convenient, and non-toxic, it can allow you to have a cleaner home, all whilst keeping your products streamlined and eco-friendly. Of course, there’s always the risk that your vinegar-cleaning efforts will backfire, adding more time to your busiest days.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with the daily housekeeping, or run into some trouble trying a DIY solution, your local cleaning professionals can help clean up! Find your nearest Merry Maids business to book a free quote today, or call 0800 021 3072 to learn more.

Loving your home

Show your home some love this Valentine’s Day by booking a professional clean from Merry Maids.

Is your home feeling a little unloved? With many of us returning to work, be it at home or in person, it can be easy to neglect your cleaning in the rush of the regular 9 to 5. Before you know it, you may look around to see that your home is looking a little worse for wear. Maintaining a clean home is a difficult and labour intensive job. Especially when added to an already extensive list of things to stay on top of, cleaning your home regularly can leave even the most organised of us feeling a little frazzled.

Let us take care of the cleaning for you. Just one weekly visit from our Merry Maids cleaning operatives will leave your home looking and feeling fresh and squeaky clean. It’s one less thing to worry about, and you can relax without feeling worried or guilty for not getting round to it. At Merry Maids, our job is to look after the cleaning, so you don’t have to. With 42 years of experience as a leading domestic cleaning brand, Merry Maids is trusted nationwide for our expert domestic cleaning services. This includes one-off, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly visits where we will:

Dust picture frames, ornaments, lamps, furniture, woodwork, shelves & skirting boards
Vacuum – both rooms and furniture, including under-seat cushions
Empty bins
Clean kitchen and bathroom appliances, mirrors
Sanitise countertops, tiles, toilets
Polish chrome
Deodorise
And more!

Our Merry Maids cleans can be scheduled and adjusted to suit you and any particular requirements you may have. For example, we are dementia and pet friendly, and all of our maids have been thoroughly trained to work safely and effectively during COVID19.

So, whether you are looking for a one-off or regular clean, Merry Maids are committed to keeping your home at its best, so you can relax, and keep your free time well… free! Show yourself, and your home some love this Valentine’s Day by leaving the cleaning to us. Book a regular or one-off clean today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business here.

Cut your cleaning time in half

We all want to enjoy time with our family and not be stuck cleaning the house for hours, why not try these simple cleaning tips and tricks from the experts at Merry Maids. With just a little effort and some insider knowledge you can get on top of the chores and free up some valuable “me time”.

Fresh in a flash

Our top tip for keeping your rooms smelling fresh for longer is to sprinkle your living room carpet with baking soda before you go to bed. The next morning a quick vacuum will leave you with a cleaner smelling room.

Overnight oven cleaner

Apply oven cleaner at the end of the day and leave overnight, that way you can dramatically cut down the amount of scrubbing time.

  • We recommend using a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda to keep your oven clean.
  • Moisten the inside of your oven with water, apply a thick layer of baking soda and let it sit for around three hours, while you get on with other things.
  • Spray vinegar on the baking soda and watch it fizz into action.
  • Leave overnight and then wipe clean in the morning.

Scrub a dub tub

If both you and your shower are in need of freshening up, why not kill two birds with one stone? Hop in the shower armed with your best scrubbing brush. Soap up, and then rinse yourself and the shower at once. Both you and your shower will be fresh and clean in half the time!

Glass shower doors look better for longer if you use a squeegee or cleaning cloth to remove water after every shower.

Dust talk

If you have a family member or friend that seems to keep you on the phone for an hour, use the time to multi-task.  Use a microfibre cleaning cloth to clean your furniture, this not only makes the best use of your time but will also help to catch more dust than a regular duster and will cut down the need to use specialised cleaning products.

Get the kids involved

Remember, cleaning the house isn’t just your responsibility but the whole family’s. If you have children why not get them involved by giving them a regular cleaning chore. Even if you only start small with something simple like making their own bed or tidying away toys at the end of the day. You can check out our Age appropriate chores for children blog here.

Don’t panic

If you really don’t have the time to get stuck into your chores then don’t panic, you can call and book an appointment for us to come and clean your home from top to bottom. Find your nearest Merry Maids here.

10 things you should clean every day

Things can get really dirty very quickly if you’re not careful. In fact, you’ll find yourself needing to clean regularly because of kids, pets, family gatherings, and more. It’s essential to periodically clean to eliminate harmful germs and bacteria, especially amid the global pandemic that had us running to the nearest store for every disinfectant product imaginable.

As your go-to place on everything cleaning, we know a few things about how and what you should be cleaning routinely to protect yourself and your family. Check out these 10 household items you should be cleaning every day—without question.

1. Sponges

If you clean with a sponge does the sponge then become dirty? Yes is the answer to this, you use your sponges daily to wipe, absorb, and eliminate spills on all hard surfaces, therefore, ensure you give them some daily TLC of their own. As an essential cleaning tool in your home, we recommend you clean your sponges every day with some water and baking soda to ensure these handy items stay clean and fresh for longer.

2. Dishes

Leaving the dishes in the sink overnight is something many people are guilty of doing, but it isn’t something you should make a habit of doing. Food particles and water are the perfect ingredients for a bacteria smorgasbord. According to research kitchen sinks were reported to have the highest concentration of bacteria in an entire home.

The best way to clean your dishes frequently, safely, and easily is to put them in the dishwasher, if you don’t have one ensure you’re using a sufficient amount of dish soap in the sink.

3. Kitchen Counters

Speaking of items in your kitchen that need daily attention, your kitchen counters are likely the most-used surfaces in your home, and they attract dirt easily. Your kitchen counters see a lot of action, which means they collect microscopic organisms that could be harmful to your health. Use a disinfected sponge and a tried-and-true germ-killing product to blast away the caked-on food, dirt, and dust for good.

4. Dining Room Table

The dining room table sees its fair share of family dinners, and food debris can get left behind, start to grow dangerous bacteria, mould, and a host of other things. Depending on the type of kitchen table you have, you’ll want to start by dusting it off first so you can give it a good cleaning.

For specific types of dining tables, follow these simple cleaning instructions:

  • Wood – Use warm water and a microfibre cloth to wipe down your dining table after every meal. Make sure to clean off any excess dampness with a clean towel to avoid watermarks and damage
  • Glass – A disinfected sponge, warm water, and baking powder can work wonders on a glass table. A glass cleaning solution is always a great way to get your table to shine after it’s washed
  • Metal – You can use a cloth or sponge to wipe a metal table but avoid using the sponge’s abrasive side for caked-on foods, so you don’t cause any damage

5. Bathroom Counters

Like kitchen counters, bathroom counters can harbour thousands of germs and bacteria that could be detrimental to your health. But because faecal matter could be involved, there’s more cause for concern when bathroom counters are left untouched. Some of the most common types of bacteria found on bathroom counters include E. coli, streptococcus, and salmonella. According to research, a bathroom countertop is made up of 452 bacteria per square inch.

To thoroughly and naturally sanitise your bathroom counters, mix a cup of hot water and a cup of white vinegar, place the mixture in a spray bottle and clean until your heart’s content.

6. Computer Keyboard

With most of the UK working from home full time amid the pandemic, computer keyboards are getting daily workouts. This means they also need to get daily wipe downs, just imagine the number of germs sitting on your keyboard right now. The average desktop keyboard has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. That’s a pretty unpleasant picture that you can erase by using alcohol wipes or an electronic-safe cleaning product to give your keyboard a good scrub.

7. Keys

Surprisingly, car and house keys are not as dirty as a toilet seat (like some items on this list). One reason could be because they’re likely handled solely by you or your spouse. Another theory is that keys are made of certain metals that don’t lend themselves to bacteria build-up. And while they don’t harbour as much bacteria as other household items, they are riddled with germs you don’t want attacking your immune system.

Safely clean your car and house keys using warm water, a drop of dish soap, and an old toothbrush to get in all the nooks and crannies. For a quicker alternative, throw them in the dishwasher and use the “sanitize” setting for thorough disinfection.

8. Remote controls

The remote control… you can’t live without it, especially because of lockdown and the amount of tv series and films we’ve all been watching! Make sure you disinfect this handy item daily, as research performed to study the cleanliness of a hotel room found that remote controls were the most germ-infested item in the room.

Fortunately, rubbing alcohol can sanitise your remote quickly and easily. Pour a bit on a paper towel and wipe every inch of the remote to ensure it is thoroughly disinfected.

9. Phone Screen

Think of how much face time your phone screen gets daily. According to a survey Brits touch their phones at least 28 times per day, which gives bacteria ample time to latch on and set up shop. A study in 2011 found that one in six mobiles in Britain are contaminated with faecal matter! Ew! This is definitely an eye-opener to ensure you’re cleaning your phones daily!

Like cleaning your remote control, mobile devices can be safely disinfected using an alcohol wipe to kill bacteria and keep them from multiplying or spreading.

10. Toothbrush

Because most people house their toothbrushes in their bathrooms (and we’ve already gotten into how bacteria-ridden the bathroom countertops are), it shouldn’t be surprising to find that your toothbrush should be cleaned daily. In fact, researchers at the University of Manchester found that toothbrushes can be breeding grounds for staphylococci bacteria and E. coli. Reports also show that toothbrushes contain at least 200,000 bacteria per square inch. All this simply means is that, instead of making your pearly whites whiter, you could be contaminating your body with life-threatening bacteria.

Your toothbrush can be easily cleaned by pouring 3% hydrogen peroxide into a small cup and letting it soak for about 15 minutes. Letting it sit longer could damage the bristles. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with warm water before use.

 

If you want/need help with cleaning your home you can find your nearest Merry Maids UK business here and contact them for more information on our services.

5 hacks for keeping your home tidy all week

Keeping your house clean and tidy throughout the week can feel like a major challenge, particularly when you’re working 9 to 5 and trying to raise kids at the same time. Although you may not have an hour to dedicate towards cleaning each day, adopting a few daily cleaning habits can really make all the difference for your home environment.

These little cleaning rituals don’t have to be complicated or time-intensive, either: In fact, we’ve come up with 5 simple hacks that can help working parents create an efficient cleaning schedule. When combined with regular cleaning services from your local experts at Merry Maids, you’ll be well on your way to keeping a healthy and happy haven all week.

Here are 5 of our best hacks for maintaining your clean through weekdays:

1. Begin each day by making the bed – There’s nothing like diving into crisp, tucked sheets at the end of a long and stressful day. Because it only takes a few minutes, making the bed first thing in the morning can give you a feeling of peace and productivity, without requiring much effort.

2. Wipe down your counters regularly – It’s amazing how many little messes can accumulate on our countertops — and the effect continues to snowball with each new spill. To combat this problem, keep a simple cleaning spray next to your countertops, and give them a quick once-over with a microfibre cloth after you’re finished.

3. Take care of the post – By sorting your post into dedicated bins and folders after every trip, you’ll cut down on clutter, and keep important documents close at hand.

4. Keep dishes in the dishwasher or cabinets – Leaving dishes in the sink can make your home look (and smell) less clean than it actually is. When you commit to putting away the clean dishes each morning and putting dirty dishes into the washer after you eat, your kitchen will feel clean and well-ordered.

5. Do a 10-minute cleaning check when you get home – Once you get home from work or picking the kids up, the last thing on your mind may be cleaning. But while you’re still up, take no more than 10 minutes to look around your home and put away any items that are laying around, then the rest of the evening will be yours!

Although developing these daily cleaning habits can go a long way to maintaining your home, there’s nothing like a detailed clean to get rid of grime and bacteria. Offering a worry-free guarantee andtime-tested cleaning techniques, you can count on the housekeeping professionals at Merry Maids to tackle the house cleaning for you — leaving you to enjoy a more pristine environment during the week.

Find your nearest Merry Maids business here.

Tips on washing your bed sheets

From duvet covers to flat sheets, many people wash these necessary bedding items whenever the mood strikes, but is that enough? Unfortunately, you may be sleeping on more than you bargained for.

Our experts at Merry Maids have put together a guide to washing your bedsheets to help create a healthier environment for you and your loved ones.

How Often Should You Wash Your Bed Sheets?

In 2020 Hammonds Furniture conducted a poll and found that a third of Brits only wash their bed sheets once a year, no that’s not wrong, ONCE A YEAR!!!

We recommend washing your bed sheets weekly to eliminate harmful bacteria. Because of the general nature of your sheets, they tend to attract thousands of dead skin cells and odours. These factors warrant more frequent washing and changing of your bedding to keep you and your family healthy.

You should wash your sheets more often if you:

  • Have allergies or asthma

  • Have an infection or skin condition

  • Sweat excessively at night

  • Have pets that like to sleep in your bed

  • Enjoy a midnight snack or breakfast in bed

  • Go to bed without showering (after vigorous activity)

When you don’t wash your sheets and other bedding regularly, you run the risk of exposure to harmful fungi, bacteria, pollen, and animal dander that can get trapped in the fibres of your sheets. It’s not the most pleasant thought to consider you’re lying in all that. Other things such as bodily secretions can also be found on your fabric, though they don’t necessarily pose a health risk like the above. However, these fluids and organisms left on the surface of your bedding could trigger skin irritation, eczema flares (in people already living with the condition), and dermatitis.

What’s the Best Way to Wash Sheets?

Hot water is always the best way to wash and sanitize your sheets and other bedding. Although, more delicate fabrics and textures may require different cycles or water temperatures. For clarification, read the care label on your sheets and follow the instructions carefully to prevent ruining the material. Remember, the hotter the water, the best chance you have of removing more bacteria and allergens.

How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?

You should change your sheets every week or two to avoid the buildup of bacteria. If sleeping in your own sweat, oils, and skin cells weren’t enough to make you want to wash your sheets a bit more often, a colony of dust mites could be lurking in the fibres and these can have a dramatic impact on your health.

Dust mites are unpleasant eight-legged creatures not visible to the naked eye, so it won’t do any good trying to locate them on your sheets. By chance, if you do happen to see some creepy crawlers in your bed, they may be bed bugs. A bed bug situation requires abatement from a pest control company that specializes in these types of insects.

Keeping Your Bed Sheets Clean For Longer

It’s always a good idea to follow through with our recommended one to two-week washing routine. However, if life gets in the way (as it’s prone to do sometimes), you can make some changes in your lifestyle to keep your sheets and bedding cleaner longer, so washing frequently isn’t as necessary.

Keep your sheets clean between washing and help preserve them by:

  • Showering before you go to bed

  • Avoiding napping after a vigorous gym session

  • Removing makeup before you go to sleep

  • Avoiding lotions, creams, or oils right before bed

  • Not eating or drinking in bed

  • Keeping your pets off your bedding

  • Removing debris and dirt from your feet and socks before getting into bed

To keep your sheets looking don’t use fabric softeners with every wash, instead, replace the fabric softener with a quarter-cup of baking soda or a half-cup of white vinegar in the wash during the rinse cycle. Your sheets will feel softer and look brighter without any irritating chemicals or overpowering smells.

It’s important to note, if you’re using bleach to launder your sheets, don’t mix in the white vinegar. This can create poisonous fumes that are extremely dangerous if inhaled. Also, avoid using vinegar in a washing machine as the acid in the vinegar can destroy the door seal.

If you’re wanting any help with cleaning in your home find your nearest Merry Maids business here.

8 Tips on keeping your home clean with a dog around

If you share your home with a fluffy little pooch, the good news is that studies show you’re probably happier and healthier. On the other hand, your house probably isn’t as happy!

Don’t worry, we’ve compiled our top tips to keep your pet-friendly home feeling fresh and clean all day, every day.

1.Keep your pets clean

If your pup is covered in mud after every walk, it’s time to set up a pet grooming routine. It sounds obvious, but dirt removed through grooming your dog is dirt that’s not going to be trampled around your home. While you shouldn’t use pet shampoo every time, a quick wash down with water will make a huge difference. Keep your damp dog in one particular area, preferably with an easy to clean floor, for example;  your utility room or your kitchen. You could thoroughly dry them afterwards to avoid any Eau de damp dog. Depending on your dog’s breed, they may also require a trim now and then, this will help with reducing the amount of mud coming into your home.

2.Upgrade your upholstery

If you want to snuggle with your pup on the sofa it might be time to upgrade your current sofa. The wrong material can act as a hair magnet, hold odours that you won’t want lingering in your home and show up stains. You should be looking for a leather or tightly woven material sofa, ideally in a similar shade to your pets. If you can’t afford a new sofa, purchase a pet-friendly throw or blanket which can be washed when needed.

3.Buy a quality vacuum cleaner

You’ll need an extra-strong suction, quality filter and good brush action to pull the hair from your carpet and upholstery. Consider the type of flooring you have in your home and if your pet goes on the furniture, look for one which is good for cleaning upholstery too. If you’ve got yourself a dog that sheds all the time, you’ll need to vacuum daily to keep on top of things. Make sure you regularly clean out the filter too as a hair and dirt clogged filter will spread the smell of pet hair whenever you vacuum and you don’t want that!

4.Set up a dog cleaning station

We’re talking things like a heavy-duty doormat, easily accessible dog towels, wipes and a water spray bottle to clean those muddy paws when you’re coming back for your walk. Maybe as a treat for being such a good pooch keep a couple of treats there too.

5.Regularly clean your pet’s things

You’ll need to regularly clean your pet’s things, including pet beds, toys and even leads can pick up that strong dog odour. Try and purchase all items that are machine washable to make your life easier, otherwise, you can wash them by hand in the sink. Save this chore for a warmer day and allow them to dry outside where the sun will help with killing those bad odours.

6.React quickly to accidents

A life with a pet means the odd accident is going to happen no matter what, when this does happen act as fast as you can and use an enzyme-based cleaner to minimise smells.

7.Buy a good dog bed

Don’t get lured in with those beds that have a nice design and extra fluffy lining, they will usually be a nightmare to clean. Instead go for a simpler, water-resistant, easy to wipe down option. Give it a quick wipe down once a week and leave it out to air in the sun whenever possible to dry out and get rid of the smell.

8.Air your home regularly

Is Eau de dog affecting the energy in your home? Well, now that spring is here, you can open your windows and let some fresh air in, and even on cold days, a 10-minute blast of fresh air works wonders at deodorising those unwanted smells.

Contact your local Merry Maids here to find out more about how we can keep your home looking spick and span.

Cleaning up muddy and wet mess in your home

Here in Britain, we see a lot of rain throughout the year. In fact, on average, it rains on 156 days of the year! Well, this kind of weather can also bring a muddy mess into your home.

If you’re facing water stains on your wood floor from a wet umbrella or a trail of soggy paw prints across your living room carpet from your four-legged family member, the cleaning experts at Merry Maids can help. Below, we share our tips for removing water and muddy stains from carpet, clothes, and wood floors.

Erasing water stains from wood floors

When you can’t mop up water or other spills from wood floors right away, you may see a white ring or watermark left behind. Don’t panic! Try this trick to get rid of water stains on wood floors.

  • Pour mineral oil onto a soft cloth

  • Rub the mineral oil into the water stain and let it sit several hours or overnight

  • If the stain remains, rub mineral spirits into the stain using a soft cloth (Always make sure you’re wearing gloves as this is a chemical)

  • If the stain still persists, try applying a coat of furniture polish in a colour that matches your wood floor

For deeper, more set-in stains, you may want to call in a professional, like Furniture Medic, to restore your wood floors.

Cleaning our muddy carpets

Dry dirt is a problem on its own, but adding water to the mix makes it more difficult to clean. The liquid component in mud helps it settle deeper into carpet fibres, and the organic matter in soil means mud needs to be treated like a protein stain (eg. blood, sweat, etc.). What does that mean? Most importantly – no heat!

To clean mud from your carpet, follow these steps:

  • Let the mud dry, don’t try to clean it up while still wet, or you may end up pushing it further into the fibres

  • Once it’s dry, vacuum up as much of the dried mud as possible and make several slow passes with the vacuum, more than you would normally do.

  • When you’re satisfied you’ve vacuumed up as much as you can, add a teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent to one cup of cool or lukewarm (not hot!) water, and use a clean white rag or cloth to blot the mixture onto the stain

  • Continue to blot to remove excess moisture while keeping an eye on the cloth to see that the stain is coming up. Switch to a clean rag or paper towels as necessary

  • Once the mud is gone, blot with clean water to remove any leftover residue.

You can use these steps to remove mud stains from upholstery, as well. Just be sure to minimise the amount of water you use, since moisture can sink further into upholstery, get trapped, and cause mould or mildew issues.

For professional carpet cleaning and more information head to ServiceMaster Clean

Removing muddy marks from clothing

Mud stains on clothing may combine with sweat or other proteins, making them even more persistent than when found on the carpet

  • Begin by removing any solid matter with the dull edge of a knife or spoon
  • Be careful not to rub, as this can push stains further into the fibres and make it harder to remove
  • Rinse the stain under cold running water, preferably from the opposite side of the fabric to help loosen the mud from the fibres
  • If you can’t wash it right away, soak the garment in cold water until you can
  • Wash in cold water using a detergent, and before putting the garment in the dryer, check to make sure the stain is gone

Don’t forget: Heat will set the stain if it’s not completely removed.

  • If the stain persists or has changed colour, use an oxygen-based stain treatment and soak the garment, then wash again
  • Once you’re sure you’ve gotten out the stain, dry the clothing as usual

Let Merry Maids Clean Up after Rain, Snow, or Sleet!

When you schedule regular housekeeping services from our cleaning professionals at Merry Maids, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re never far from a thorough clean. Spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying the season; contact your local Merry Maids today.

Tips on cleaning out your fridge

Your fridge should be cleaned out every 3-4 months and during the current pandemic, it should be cleaned more often.

There may come a time when you need to bulk buy because of having to isolate due to you or one of your family members getting a positive result for COVID-19. Therefore, having a clean and somewhat empty fridge may be a good thing.

Also, with it being ‘Clean Out Your Fridge Day’ on November 15th there isn’t a better time to do it!

Preparing for the clean

Cleaning out your refrigerator, even though it can be a bit of a grotty task doesn’t require many speciality products.

Here are some things you’ll need to clean out your fridge:

  • Bin bags
  • Rubber or disposable gloves
  • A cooler box
  • A cleaning product
  • Sponges, old rags or kitchen roll
  • Microfibre cloths

Remove everything

When we say everything, we mean everything!

Don’t be tempted to leave anything in there, remove it all and treat it like you’ve just got a new fridge!

  • Remove all fridge items, like milk, cheese, yoghurts, tonight’s meals, everything!
  • Remove any shelving and drawers as well so you can wash those separately later on.

Do an inventory

Transfer any perishable items like milk and raw chicken into a cooler or into the freezer for the duration of your fridge clean (ensure you’re checking those items expiry dates and for any spoiling).

Set aside any bottles or jars, like the table sauces, pasta sauces and jam jars, all while checking the food to get rid of any items that might have become mouldy or out of date.

Throw away any unused items and any leftovers that maybe have been in the fridge for a little too long. The fridge can be a smelly place, so hold your breath if needed when dealing with spoiled products.

Get scrubbing

Scrub a dub didge let’s clean that fridge!

Start by scrubbing all of the shelves, drawers and door inserts you removed. Wash them the same way you would wash your dishes, by using a sponge and washing up liquid. Once these have been washed, dry them and set them aside.

To clean the inside of the fridge you can use diluted bleach or white vinegar, alternatively, a commercial all-purpose cleaner will do the job just as well. Always make sure you’re always wearing rubber gloves when cleaning with these products.

We would recommend using a scouring pad, or a sponge that has one attached, as these are excellent for removing any stuck-on food and spills from surfaces without scratching the area. An old toothbrush may come in useful as well to clean the hard to reach/smaller areas within your fridge.

For the exterior of the fridge use a microfibre cloth, as these are best at removing streaks and fingerprints on surfaces.

Putting everything back

The first thing you should do when you’ve finished cleaning is to put the shelves, drawers and door inserts back into their slots. Re-check your condiments for mould, give them a wipe down to ensure any residue is removed and then place them back into the fridge.

Next, you’ll then want to put your produce, meat, dairy products, drinks and any other food items to the fridge.

We can help!

We can do a refrigerator clean as an extra service when a home clean is purchased, contact your local Merry Maids to find out more.

 

Fall Back into a great autumn cleaning routine

As we get closer to the end of Daylight Savings Time, it’s important to set a new autumn routine so you can stay on top of everything in your house. The days may get a little shorter, but don’t let that stop you! After all, spring cleaning is already a thing: Why not add autumn cleaning to your list?

Creating good cleaning habits is all about consistency – and here at Merry Maids, we can help you keep a consistent cleaning schedule all year round. Using our time-tested methods, we’ll ensure that both the high-traffic and low-traffic areas of your house stay sparkling clean, by performing regular weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly cleaning services.

Committed to re-booting your autumn schedule? Here are a few other ways you can perfect your cleaning routine and develop better habits this autumn.

Sort all cleaning tasks in your household

To reset your cleaning habits and create a more effective household schedule, you should start with documenting all the crucial cleaning tasks in your house, then sort them into distinct categories based on how often they should recur. A good rule of thumb is to have at least a few monthly, weekly, and daily tasks that you could easily do yourself or assign to another household member.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

· Monthly tasks: Window cleaning, clearing out cupboards, appliance cleaning, fixture scrubbing, organising and decluttering

· Weekly tasks: Vacuuming carpets, mopping the hardwood floors, cleaning bathrooms and mirrors, doing the laundry

· Daily tasks: Dusting, sorting out the bins, picking up laundry and clutter, loading the dishwasher, cleaning down countertops, sorting the post

Once you have your list, simply write up a rotating chore list and get everyone on board with your new autumn routine!

Create a 15-minute ritual every day

It’s difficult to enjoy your weekend when you’re still thinking about all the cleaning chores on your list. To reclaim that time as your own, commit to a simple 15-minute cleaning ritual at the end of every work or school day. This ritual should consist of a few essential cleaning tasks, as well as one larger “weekly” task that you rotate every day.

When building your ritual, the most important thing is to keep it simple and to stick to roughly the same time every weekday. Although it may sound exhausting to pick up a duster or mop after a long day, you’ll be surprised at how much more free time you’ll have on the weekends!

Prioritise the rooms that matter most

When you’re busy managing day-to-day messes, you may feel like it’s impossible to get the perfect clean, even when you diligently observe a cleaning schedule. In some cases, that can be fixed by sitting down and thinking about your true cleaning priorities. Do you love to take long, luxurious baths in a clean bathroom oasis at the end of the day? Or do you need the longe to be spic-and-span when you sit down with your kids to surf through Netflix?

No matter what your particular cleaning needs may be, pick the top two or three rooms where you spend the most time and energy in the evenings. By maintaining those rooms throughout the week and rotating other rooms on the weekend, you might not feel as stressed about the state of your entire house.

Upgrade Your Cleaning Routine with Merry Maids

While all of these tips can help you preserve your sanity and manage the daily tide of clutter, a professional cleaning expert can save you even more time and energy for the weekend! At Merry Maids we thrive on keeping your homes clean and making it easier for you to rest and relax. Because we can customise our services to meet your exact standards and needs, you’ll feel like you have a trusted partner in the war against grime – and you just might find that your autumn routine gets a little easier.

Find your nearest Merry Maids and contact us today to get your home looking lovely for autumn!

The psychological benefits of a clean home

A clean and well-organised house can bring you more happiness and internal stability throughout the week.

While cleaning and organising will never be considered a reliable solution for mental health issues, the latest research does indicate that having a clean and organised home can bring some serious psychological benefits.

By removing extra clutter, dust, dirt, and debris from your home, you may be able to experience more than just physical health benefits like improved indoor air quality. At Merry Maids, our cleaning experts can ensure that you’ll always enjoy the psychological benefits of a clean home – even with a large household and pets etc.

What Are the Benefits of Organisation?

As human beings, we strongly identify with our environments, and when our interior living spaces are cluttered with unwashed dishes, misplaced items, and garbage, it will have a negative effect on your mood. While we’ve all observed this truth in action, a 2013 study published in Psychological Science has confirmed that order and disorder each have a measurable effect on our preferences, choices, and behaviour.

According to the research, people in clean and well-organised rooms were far more likely to choose healthy snacks, donate money to charity, and select options labelled as “classic” or “traditional.” By contrast, those in disorderly rooms experienced boosts in creativity and unconventional thinking but did not tend to choose more healthy or conscientious options for themselves.

Understanding the Psychology of House Cleaning

Even if you prefer to have a little chaos in your living environment, cleaning the house is still an essential part of homeownership and the daily upkeep.

Why is it so important for our wellbeing to have a clean house? While the explanations vary, some promising new research shows that having a clean house encourages us to seek new experiences, become more adventurous and go out more often, all of which can be helpful in managing negative feelings.

According to research, they’ve found that interior cleanliness was one of the primary predictors for physical activity, even when all other factors were taken into consideration.

Living in a clean environment can also boost your concentration and focus! This is because the brain processes clutter and debris as a distraction in an attempt to force you to correct the situation. Whether you realize it or not, your subconscious is using up mental resources to process the clutter in your home or work environment – and taking up valuable space for other tasks.

Live More, Let Merry Maids Clean

As home cleaning experts with more than 40 years of experience, our team at Merry Maids can give you a well-deserved break from the household chores, while also giving your brain a break from the negative effects of clutter. By creating a customised regular cleaning plan that covers all of your needs, we can ensure that your home remains spotless, allowing you to focus on the more important things and make memories.

Reap the positive benefits of a clean and organised home today! Find your nearest Merry Maids and get in contact today.

5 Ways To Upgrade Your Cleaning Routine

Now that the holidays are over and the New Year is upon us, it’s the perfect time to start upgrading your daily cleaning routine!

Whether you’re a queen or king of cleaning checklists or just looking to get more organised in 2020, our cleaning experts at Merry Maids can help you stay on track with your goals, by providing regular cleaning services to supplement your everyday efforts.

Here are 5 great ways you can upgrade your home cleaning habits for 2020 ­– and beyond!

#1: Introduce one simple daily cleaning habit

Nowadays the majority of us are always on-the-go, it can be hard to find time even for a 15-minute daily cleaning ritual, let alone a rigorous cleaning schedule. When you’re not sure where to begin, we would recommend starting small and master a single daily cleaning habit that will make a difference to you.

To get started, make a list of all your cleaning pet peeves – in other words, those tasks that drive you crazy when you can’t complete them.

Whether on your own or with a partner, pick out the top chore and complete it daily until it becomes a habit, which typically takes 21 days to form as a habit. From there, you can introduce new habits as and when needed!

#2: Create a defined house cleaning schedule

Again, the key here is to start small, build on your existing efforts and hold yourself accountable to whatever tasks you add onto the schedule.

Here are a few methods you might like:

  • Theme up your cleaning – If you hate repetition more than anything else, try giving each day a cleaning theme. Maybe Monday can be your washing day and Tuesdays can be for cleared for kitchen clean-up. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s something you can and will follow!
  • Set a specific time aside for your top 10 tasks – Instead of taking it one day at a time, create a list of the top 10 small cleaning chores that you would like to accomplish by the end of each night. Then give yourself a consistent time to accomplish them, whether in the morning or the evening.
  • Pick one day to be your cleaning day. Prefer to take care of everything all at once? Select a day to designate as your “cleaning day” and take care of key high-traffic areas at the same time. Give yourself at least 2-3 hours to complete the task!

#3: Make an organisation checklist

No matter what cleaning schedule you prefer, it’s a good idea to build out an organisation checklist, which should include every cleaning and organising task that you’ll ever need to do. Keep this list somewhere handy, for example, stuck on the fridge and check it often to make sure you’re covering everything.

Just follow these simple steps to create your own checklist:

  1. Walk around your house and list all areas that need to be cleaned (usually everywhere, unfortunately!)
  2. Within each area, write down all the cleaning and organisational tasks that need to be completed during the year
  3. Assign each task to a sub-list, depending on whether the chore should be done daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonally
  4. Create an easy system to check these items off your list

#4: Find creative ways to remind yourself about cleaning tasks

Even when you have a clear direction for your daily cleaning rituals, you’ll need lots of reminders to stay focused on each task. By finding a creative and colourful way to remind yourself, you’ll be more likely to get everything done!

Here are a few ideas:

  • Make a DIY corkboard and tack up notes about your daily and weekly tasks, you could even add how many calories you’ll burn off for each task!
  • Keep an extra calendar on the wall just for your cleaning checklist

#5: Get the whole family involved

As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one or three or four, depending on how many are in your household! Enlisting your spouse, your kids, or other live-at-home family members will make your life easier and give you more time to chill out and watch your favourite Netflix series. A chore chart is a time-honoured tradition for a reason – it allows everyone to participate in maintaining their own space.

Next Steps: Call in a Professional

Of course, the best way to elevate your cleaning routine this year is to bring in professionals, on whatever basis will work best for your needs. We offer weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly cleans, so you can choose the schedule that makes sense for you! Find your nearest Merry Maids here.

Fun Cleaning Games For Kids

Entertaining kids in the evenings and weekends is a difficult task, but have you thought about making cleaning fun for the kids?

We’ve put our heads together and come up with a list of fun cleaning games that your kids will enjoy!

fun cleaning kids

 

Fill Up Fun

Fill Up Fun is all about recycling, although the first part of this game may be boring for the kids so you might want to do this!

  • Wash and dry the plastic and other recyclable items ready for recycling (Do this beforehand for the kids)
  • Split all the recycling into two equal piles
  • Place the recycling bin a short distance away from the piles
  • See who can get their recycling into the bin quick enough
  • Alternatively, see who can throw the plastic items into the bin from the greatest distance

This would be fun for adults, let alone the kids! Haha!

Spot The Recycling

Another bit of recycling fun for the kids is to firstly give them two bin bags each; one for recycling and the other for general waste.

Get your children to walk around the house and put in their bags what rubbish they think should be recycled and what should be thrown into general waste.

This can help with a bit of family exercise as well, especially if you do a timed race and see who has the most amount of items in the correct bags in the allotted time period.

Fold It Fast

This one is quite an easy one, but yet fun for the kids, as it doesn’t involve much setting up.

You will need:

  • A pile of clean, dry washing
  • Two or more enthusiastic children
  • A parent to supervise

All this game involves is for you to show the kids how to fold the laundry and then time them to see who can fold the most amount of items in the chosen time.

Kids Clear Out

A good clear out of old items needs to be done completed on a regular basis, especially with growing kids in the house.

As kids grow up they go off certain toys, books or games etc, and also as adults, we love to keep things we don’t need!

  • Go through the whole house putting items in three piles
    – Keep Pile
    – Charity Pile
    – Throw Pile
  • Get your kids to go through their old items and get rid of anything they don’t want anymore (if it’s broken throw it and if it’s still intact give it to charity)
  • While they’re doing this, you can go through some of your own things that you may not want to clutter the house with
  • Once all of the items have been put into piles, check to see if the kids have put things in the correct piles
  • Let your children bag the items and anything going to the local charity store, take them with you so they can hand over the bag

We’re sure there are plenty more cleaning games that can get kids liking cleaning, so if you know of any, let us know by sharing this post on social with your game idea!

If you’ve exhausted yourself and your kids playing all these games, then give your local Merry Maids a call to help with the housework so you can live life’s moments.

Making Your Bed Is Important For Your Health

There are a million and one excuses for not making your bed in the morning, here are a few common ones:

  • “I got up late and I didn’t have time to make my bed.”
  • “What’s the point? I’m getting back in it as soon as I get home.”
  • “My pet is curled up on the sheets and I didn’t want to wake them up”.

making your bed

Make bed making a morning habit

We all hate making our beds, but it’s scientifically proven that making your bed is overall better for your health and your sleeping habits.

Think of making your bed as your first successful task of the day, apart from trying to get up of course.

Your bed is the focal point in your bedroom and having that clean and tidy creates a sense of accomplishment and puts you in a better mood for the day to come.

Make it a part of your morning routine like brushing your teeth or combing your hair.

The science of making your bed

A study completed by the National Sleep Foundation proved that those who made their bed every day had a better night’s sleep to those that didn’t.

This study also states figures that people with clean sheets get a much more comfortable sleep. So, clean your sheets more often than you already do, simple!

“53% of respondents rated sleeping on sheets with a fresh scent an important contributor to their sleep experience” – Bedroom Poll by National Sleep Foundation.

The myth of letting your sheets breathe

Many people are convinced that they need to let their bed “breathe” during the day, and the reasons being that we are told that airing your bed out can prevent dust mites, mould and bedbugs etc.

However, the best way to get rid of dust mites and prevent mould is to keep your mattress clean, wash your sheets and your mattress protector frequently.

You can still have that little bit of air flow through your sheets if you really want, by slightly folding the top of your duvet cover over.

All in all, making your bed can help with your actual sleeping and make you feel accomplished before starting your day, so get bed making!

 

If you really don’t like making your bed, your local Merry Maids can always do this for you while making the rest of your house spick and span! Find your nearest Merry Maids here.

The Ugly Truths About Dust

Dust contains hair, pollen, soil, mould spores, textile fibres and dust mite faeces, amongst other matter.

vacuum dust

Fatty Dust

Who remembers Marjorie from Little Britain saying, “Dust, anybody, dust? It’s actually very low in fat and you can eat as much as you like”?

Marjorie is actually incorrect when it comes to dust being low in fat.

Research has shown that certain types of matter within household dust can turn on a protein called PPAR-gamma (peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptor gamma).

This protein may be involved in obesity, because of the protein triggering fat cells to grow in our bodies.

More research is currently being completed in regards to the correlation between PPAR-gamma and obesity.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny little arachnids that are usually between 0.2-0.3 mm in length.

They are smaller than a grain of sand and not visible to the human eye!

  • A 2013 study found that household dust mites have actually evolved from parasites.
  • Dust mites feed mainly on dead skin that we shed.
  • One of the most common triggers of allergies in the home is the decomposing bodies and faecal matter of dust mites. Yuck!
  • Half a teaspoon of dust can contain up to 1,000 dust mites and around 250,000 faecal pellets!
  • The average mattress contains anywhere between 100,000 to 10 million dust mites.

The Dustiest Places

There are some places in your home where dust will accumulate more often than others.

  • Window blinds– Wipe your blinds with a duster and vacuum them regularly.
  • Electronic devices– Collect dust because of static electricity, so make sure you frequently wipe with a duster.
  • Fixtures and fittings– Light fittings, lampshades, light switches and ceiling fans attract dust, so clean these in your weekly routine.
  • Upholstery– Dust mites love upholstery because of the warm environment between the textile fibres. Make sure hoovering your upholstery is in your weekly cleaning schedule.
  • Carpets– Like upholstery, dust mites thrive in the carpet fibres, so again make sure you’re regularly hoovering.

 

Our friends over at ServiceMaster Clean can help you with professional carpet cleaning.

If you’re not a fan of dust after reading some of these horrible facts, find your local office here and contact us today.