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The best way to clean your bath – International Bath Day

How to ensure that your tub stays spotless.

Believe it or not, there is actually an International Bath Day, and it’s today! To properly commemorate the day, we’re giving you our top tips on cleaning your tub.

Naturally, if you’re getting into a bath, the goal is to come out clean. Unfortunately, a bathtub is one of the dirtiest places in the home. Studies have even found that an average bath or shower is 100 times dirtier than a garbage bin!

Don’t let that put you off too much though, as the experts can all agree that due to the high dilution of all the harmful microbiomes from the hot water, you’re very, very unlikely to see negative health effects from taking a bath. But with all that in mind, it’s still important to make sure that your bath is as clean as possible before a soak.

Luckily, sanitising and cleaning your bath doesn’t have to be a difficult chore. Here’s how to clean your bath the Merry Maids way.

Know the biggest culprits

If your bathtub isn’t very clean, it’s likely a result of one or more of these common nuisances: hair and soap scum. Hair is pretty self-explanatory, but what about soap scum? Often confused with limescale, soap scum is a chalky white substance that collects in tubs, sinks, shower curtains & heads. Soap scum is simply a build-up of both calcium and magnesium stearate and all the other residue from your body and products like dead skin cells, oils, chemicals, and soap remnants. According to The Spruce, soap scum is formed when soap is used in hard water and combines with calcium and magnesium particles in the water and soap to create soap scum. This formation then frequently spreads when minerals in tap water combine with soap and dirt to create a layer of scaly residue on your surfaces. Thankfully, although it isn’t particularly pleasant, soap scum isn’t a form of bacteria, so isn’t harmful to you in any way.

We’ll deal with the soap scum in a moment, but it’s also worth noting that you’re going to have an easier job cleaning your bathtub if you remove any hair from the surfaces and drains now by using a duster or getting in there by hand to remove any that has clumped together.

Make up your cleaning solution

As with a lot of our other at-home recipes for home cleaning solutions like urine or wine stains, the key ingredient here is some bicarbonate of soda. Mix some bicarb with equal parts washing-up liquid (roughly a ¼ of a cup of each works best here). Here is where you may opt to add in some essential oil to create a nicer smell in your bathroom for when you’re done. If you do choose to use a couple of drops, limit yourself to only about this much, and if you can, try and choose one that contains citrus like lemon or grapefruit as the acid will give you some extra help in breaking down that nasty soap scum.

Grab your cleaning utensils and mix the solution

Now that you’ve made up your solution, it’s time to mix it well. The easiest thing to do here is simply to use whatever cleaning utensil you’re going to use to stir it all together in a bowl or a cup. But be advised that what you use to clean your tub should depend on what it is made from, as different surface materials will need different cleaning utensils. For example, cast iron, acrylic or fibreglass bathtubs all have a more delicate finish to them so you want to avoid anything that might scratch and damage this. For a more standard enamel bathtub, a sponge will do the job nicely. Make sure you mix well and remember that this recipe doesn’t keep so you can be liberal with how much you apply. And, because it doesn’t use any harsh chemicals, you don’t even have to wear rubber gloves if you don’t want to – which will come in handy later.

Get scrubbing

Note: If you’re taking this opportunity to clean your bathroom tiles as well, do those beforehand, as you want to make sure that the tub stays dry until it’s time to rinse.

If not, or when you’re done, start applying your solution to the bathtub by wiping it down with your dampened sponge or cloth. Once your tub is suitably coated in the mixture, let it sit for about 10 minutes as it works its magic, breaking down all the soap scum and germs. Then, wet your sponge to get it nice and clean once more and start scrubbing the mixture away to clean the tub. It’s best to start at the back and work your way towards the drain and the taps for the easiest clean.

As you’re not wearing gloves, you can easily check if the scum has been removed by simply wiping your finger over the surface. If it’s nice and smooth, the scum has gone. If you can still feel it there, you may have to reapply some more mixture.

Clear the mixture away and clear out the drain

Using a container of hot water, or a removable shower head (if you have one), start to wash away the bicarb solution. You can then clean and polish off the taps. If your drain is full of grime, you can also use bicarbonate of soda to clear it out. Just sprinkle four tbsp of bicarb into the drain along with some vinegar and watch this solution bubble your drain grime away. Once it’s finished bubbling, pour some boiling hot water done the drain to flush the mixture out.

And if you want more than just your tub cleaned this International Bath Day, find your nearest Merry Maids now to book a one-off, or regular spring or deep clean today.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

How to clean urine out of a mattress

A quick and easy method to remove urine from your mattress.

Mattresses are important… and expensive! This makes it all the worse when you wake up from sharing your bed with your pet or child to find… they’ve wet your bed.

Panic sets in. You understand that accidents happen. But equally, you don’t want it to seep into the mattress and stain it forever.

So, what do you do? It’s the first thing in the morning (or worse, the middle of the night), you need to deal with this quickly, and the longer you spend standing in indecision, the closer you inch to a mattress that is permanently stained with urine.

We’ve got you covered. Here is everything you need to know to clean a urine-stained mattress in five easy steps.

1. Strip the bed

First things first, clear the area. This means removing any bedding: sheets, duvet, blankets etc, and putting them in the wash immediately.

2. Start to soak up the stain yourself

Begin to bring up as much of the liquid as you can by using a large towel. Much like the stain from a bottle of wine, the key here is to blot the stain, not scrub it.

As much as you may not want to get wee on one of your towels, using paper towels on bedding is likely to get bits of paper all over the sheet. So, you’re far better off grinning and bearing it with a towel and washing it afterwards.

You also want to avoid creating heat through friction from scrubbing or with any other heat source as this will cause the stain to set in and become permanent.

Instead, be sure to add as much pressure as you can to soak up with liquid, rather than letting the towel just sit on top.

3. Create your own solution

Next, create your own cleaning solution of 50:50 distilled white vinegar and water. The best method is to give the stain a light coating here. If you have one, a good way to

apply your solution is by taking a spray bottle and using this to spray the urine-stained area of the mattress. Let this sit for a while – anywhere between five and ten minutes is preferable and then apply the next magic ingredient.

4. Cover the stain with bicarbonate of soda

Applying sodium bicarbonate to the affected area works in tandem with the solution that you’d already put down to help lift the stain from the mattress. How this works is that the acidic vinegar breaks down the bicarb, and in turn, releases carbon dioxide which lifts stains.

But to do this effectively, you need time. The process yields the best results when left to work for a while – between 8 to 10 hours to be precise. The good thing is, once this has been done, the nature of the bicarbonate of soda means that all you have to do is…

5. Hoover up the bicarb

Now all that’s left to do is vacuum up the remaining bicarbonate of soda and viola – you should be facing a clean mattress that is free of odour. If not, you may have to repeat the process and you may still be left with a very faint outline or stain where the mixture did not reach or not enough was blotted up. However, the smell should be gone and the stain will fade the more you repeat the process.

Alternatively, if you are unhappy leaving a faint stain, or would rather trust the stain removal experts, get in touch with ServiceMaster Clean from our ServiceMaster brand family. With all the latest tools and the know-how for the job, these expert technicians are equipped to deal with any stain on any surface and clean your carpet and upholstery. To see how the professionals do it, check out this video of some ServiceMaster Clean experts deep cleaning a dirty mattress.

Or, for a regular deep clean of your whole home, get in touch with us. If it’s a deep clean, spring clean, tidy up, regular or one-off visit, our maids are here to take the hassle of cleaning your home off your hands. Book now, or get in touch with your nearest Merry Maids business by using our branch locator today.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

How to get rid of wine stains

Our foolproof method for removing wine stains from just about anything.

It’s a tale as old as time: a glass of red wine meets a white shirt or a patch of carpet, and they don’t get along well.

Whether you were gesturing absent-mindedly or got a little too carried away while talking, it’s an easy mistake to make. But it doesn’t have to be a disastrous one. Believe it or not, there are some very effective methods of removing red wine for a variety of surfaces, be it carpet, fabric, or bedding.

Read on to learn our top tips for getting wine stains of just about anything you can imagine.

General Tips for Wine Stains

Before you get deep into any of our methodologies for removing wine stains, there are some things you should know.

Time is of the essence – Quite possibly the most important thing you need to know about how to deal with a wine stain is that the success rate of almost all of the advice we are about to give you directly correlates with how fast you act.

There are many reasons for this, primarily because red wine will settle if allowed to sit for too long, making it much harder to remove from fabrics. This is especially bad with red wine, as it contains both chromogens and tannins. The first of these is a component found in many plants that are used to create dyes, and the second is used in the production of ink. Together these make a powerful cocktail that means red wine is essential a dye in its own right.

Don’t scrub or apply dry heat – After a red wine spillage, your intuition may tell you to do the first thing that feels natural and try to dry up the stain by scrubbing at it or using a dry heat source. However, these are both very much NOT advised. Heat will cause the stain to dry onto the fabrics and become permanent, hence why acting fast whilst the stain is fresh is your best bet. This will of course be exacerbated by adding friction through scrubbing. Not only that but scrubbing at the stain will cause it to spread – so despite any immediate damage you reduce, you will ultimately only make the situation worse. Instead, you should focus on blotting the stain instead of applying friction.

Do NOT pour white wine on a red wine stain – You may have heard the common myth that pouring white wine on a red wine stain will counteract it and get rid of the stain. However, this is not the case. It’s unclear where this idea came from, but it isn’t based in reality. Pouring white wine over your carpet or other fabrics serves no practical purpose besides wasting more wine!

How to remove wine stains from carpets

So how should you get rid of a red wine stain on a carpet?

First, add a dry material to lift out the wine. Your best bet is to use a generous sprinkling of table salt, but red wine will become absorbed by any dry material it comes into contact with. So, you want to use a dry and powdery material that you can easily hoover back up. Therefore, you could also opt for:

  • Baking Soda
  • Talcum Powder
  • Cat litter
  • Sodium percarbonate – if you have it

Then, using a blotting method instead of scrubbing, absorb as much of the wine as possible with some kitchen towels.

You could also try applying boiling water to a red wine stain. This can help lift the stain substantially, especially when used in combination with another cleaning agent. Whilst hot water may cause the molecules in the red wine to spread out across the carpet a little more, it also unbinds them from the carpet fibres, making them easy to blot up.

For the best results, cover the stain with more kitchen paper, and a bit of cling film and leave for around 12 hours. Then, once the dry powdered solid of your choice has absorbed the red wine, all you need to do is vacuum it away.

How to remove wine stains from sheets

If you’ve ever unwound in bed with a glass of wine and a book or some Netflix, you may very well know the terrible feeling that overtakes your body when you accidentally slosh red wine onto your sheets. Well, try not to panic and remember to act fast by taking the following steps:

  • Strip any bedding that you’ve spilt wine on.
  • Mix one-part dishwashing liquid with three-part hydrogen peroxide and apply the mixture to the stain. This will work as a pre-soak. Some common household items containing hydrogen peroxide are hair dyes & bleaches, toothpaste & mouthwash, and stain removers & cleaners.
  • Let that cleaning solution sit for a few minutes. You should be able to see the stain fading. If you don’t, add more solutions. Keep an eye on your sheets, as so the solution works so it doesn’t bleach your bedding.
  • After the stain has faded, wash your sheets and mattress pad just like you would on laundry day. When you pull the bedding out of the dryer, the stain should be gone.

How to Remove Wine Stains from Clothes

Almost everyone has a DIY remedy they swear by for how to remove wine stains from clothes. The home remedy that we described above for sheets will work on clothes. Here’s another you can try on sturdy fabrics like cotton:

  • Start by blotting the stain
  • Stretch the wine-soaked area over a bowl
  • Pour boiling water through the bowl and onto the stain
  • Hang clothes to air dry or wash your clothes normally

How to Remove Old Wine Stains

Now that you know how to remove wine stains from clothes, carpet and bedding, you might be wondering if there’s any way to get rid of stains leftover from spills that happened before you knew about these tips.

For those vintage clothing and bedding stains, you can use the same method we described in our section about how to remove wine stains from sheets. As with the sheets, you’ll want to keep an eye on the clothing as the solution works so the fabric doesn’t get bleached out.

If the older stains are in your carpeting, you can try the steps above, aside from the initial blotting, of course. If that doesn’t work, you may want to contact a cleaning professional like ServiceMaster Clean.

And for your other home cleaning needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your nearest Merry Maids business to book a free quotation today.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

How to clean your electronics

Tips on cleaning those all-important electronic items in your home.

Let’s face it, your electronics get a lot of use. Not only that, but they are very sensitive to the spread of germs and bacteria due to being ‘high touch point’ items.

Even though COVID-19 restrictions and sanitisation requirements have relaxed in recent months, to minimise the spread of various types of germs and other harmful bacteria, you should be cleaning items like phones, remote controls, and keyboards once a fortnight at the minimum.

But how? Cleaning electronics can be fiddly, with lots of cracks, and crevices and they are sensitive to too much liquid – knowing the right way to clean your electronics continues to bemuse people across the UK.

Until now.

Our Merry Maids cleaning experts have put together this guide on how to clean your electronic items to minimise germs and keep your home looking and feeling spotless.

Mobile Phones

Nowadays we pretty much all have them. No matter how much you use it, the simple fact remains that these high touch point items are unique in that they spend time pressed against your face after being touched.

Therefore, ensuring that you clean it thoroughly and often is of the utmost importance. To do so, you’ll first need to remove any cases that you have on. Underneath and on the inside of your case you’ll often likely find bits of dirt and a fairly substantial build-up of grimy bits. Give the case a brush down with a microfibre cloth and then spray the cloth with a cleaning solution and wipe down the phone itself and the case. At Merry Maids, we use SaniMaster 6 from ServiceMaster to fully disinfect this and other high touchpoint items. Remember, you only need one light squirt of spray, as you want to avoid getting your phone too wet.

Laptops and Computers

Whether it’s a personal or work laptop or computer, these items get frequent use and have many high touchpoint areas such as the keyboard – or even a touchscreen. As a result, you want to ensure that you are giving these items a clean and wipe down as frequently as you clean your mobile phone.

For laptops and keyboards, the first thing to do is flip them upside down get shake any bits and dust from the keys, and wipe it with a cleaning cloth or a cotton bud to get into the nooks and crannies of the keys. Then use a cleaning solution like SaniMaster to sanitise the entire device and your mouse or mousepad, just as you have with your phone. To avoid streaking the screen, we recommend using a dry cloth for this part or using a small amount of distilled water on the cloth.

Remote Controls

We may be watching a little less telly than at the height of lockdowns, but remote controls remain high priority electronics to clean as high touch point items. Like keyboards, these can have lots of little nooks and crevices for grubby bits and dust to get into so we recommend using a fine brush or a cotton bud to get into these corners. Then you can go back in with your cleaning solution to make sure it is properly sanitised.

For a full and comprehensive clean of your home and all of your high touch point electronics, get in touch with one of our friendly and professional Merry Maids teams today. Find your nearest Merry Maids business now to schedule a free quote, or book online for a one-off, regular, or deep clean service.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

10 items you can machine wash

Here is our list of 10 household items you might not know you were machine washable.

Let’s face it, if you had to hand wash every single thing you knew needed a good clean, there’d never be enough time for anything else! Fortunately, there are a variety of items, besides clothes that you can throw into the washing machine. But where to start? Our cleaning experts at Merry Maids have your guide to surprising items around your home you didn’t know your washing machine could take care of for you.

1. Small Rugs

With the amount of foot traffic in and out of your home, your small rugs are probably in need of some attention. Some rugs in your home will have varied cleaning specifications depending on the material and textures. However, generally, it’s safe to include a machine-washable throw rug or runner with a load of laundry once a month. However, you may still want to…

Consider These Tips Before Washing:

  • Shake out the rug to remove small pebbles, clumps of dirt, etc.
  • Vacuum the rug to remove any remaining dirt and debris.
  • Spot-treat any hard-to-remove stains.

Remember to wash with similar colours (as much as possible) in cold water, and air dry. For rugs with a rubber backing, please try to avoid excessive washing, as it can cause damage to the material.

2. Pillows from your bed

Have you been throwing out pillows with stains, convinced there’s no way to salvage them, and then purchasing new ones? Well, we’ve got a money saver for you! You don’t have to get rid of dirty pillows. You can throw them in the wash (unless the label specifies “dry clean only”). Ideally, this should be done at least every six months.

Consider These Tips Before Washing:

  • Remove the pillowcase (if possible) and wash it separately.
  • Use baking soda for stains that are harder to remove.

Pillows are not created equally, and neither is the stuffing. Depending on the type of material inside the pillow, you may have to tailor your washing routine.

  • For down or feather: Avoid using a liquid detergent, as it can create a residue if not rinsed thoroughly. It’s best to use a little bit of powder detergent and wash in warm water on a delicate cycle.
  • Polyester: Pillows made of polyester should be washed in warm water on a delicate cycle. Liquid detergent is okay but use it sparingly. 1 tablespoon of liquid soap should do the trick.
  • Buckwheat hulls: Before washing, start by pouring the buckwheat filling into a large container or bowl. Find a sunny spot and let the buckwheat sit to help eliminate any odours. The shell casing is ready to wash in cold water using a mild detergent.
  • Memory foam or latex: Unfortunately, memory foam or latex pillows can’t be safely washed or steamed. The best way to clean this pillow is to spot treat stains and purchase a pillowcase (that can be machine washed).

Larger washing machines can accommodate two or more pillows at a time to speed up the cleaning process. Keep in mind, that if you’re trying to remove a wet stain from your pillow, spot-treat it (and the pillowcase) first before washing it.

3. Lunch Bag

We’re sure you’ve experienced accidentally leaving a lunch bag sitting on the kitchen counter for days, not realizing there’s still food in it until a strange odour catches your attention. Before you chuck that lunch bag in the bin for its offensive smell, wash it!

Consider These Tips Before Washing:

  • Check any pockets or hidden compartments for leftover food.
  • Unzip the lunch bag and leave it unzipped (this is important before and after washing).
  • Try to stick to a bi-weekly cleaning schedule.

Most soft-sided lunch bags and other insulated bags are machine-washable. However, it’s always a good rule of thumb to check your care label to ensure the type of lunch bag you own can be laundered at home. To help knock out this laundry load fast, wash it with towels in cold water, and use regular detergent. Once it’s nice and clean, hang it upside-down (with the zipper still unzipped) to dry thoroughly.

4. Oven Gloves & Potholders

Just by their function, oven gloves and potholders tend to collect food particles and can get pretty dingy if left unwashed. To help keep these essential kitchen tools looking and smelling fresh, wash them when you do a weekly load.

Consider These Tips Before Washing:

  • Remove any caked-on food or dirt.
  • Spot-treat any hard-to-remove stains or residue.
  • Check the stitching to ensure it’s still intact.

We recommend washing oven gloves and potholders with towels in cold water. Avoid putting them in the tumble dryer. Instead, air drying is an effective option that will keep these items from shrinking.

5. Canvas Shoes

Shoes (like your household rugs) see a lot of foot traffic—literally. Canvas shoes are created from a coarse material made of hemp. Because these fashion-forward shoes can be expensive, it’s essential to take care of them and keep them looking pristine. Washing your canvas shoes is easy and safe, provided you remove any excess mud or dirt first.

Consider These Tips Before Washing:

  • Remove the shoelaces and insoles.
  • Avoid using bleach in your laundry load.

To wash your canvas shoes without damaging them, wash on a delicate cycle in cool water with a non-bio detergent. Then, as you did with the oven gloves, leave them outside (or in a secure place) to let them air dry.

6. Stuffed Toys

Your child’s first friend was probably a stuffed toy of some description, which meant they went everywhere and did everything together—eating, sleeping, and playing outside. While this toy received a lot of love, we’re guessing it also collected a lot of dirt and grime over the years. But luckily, washing your child’s favourite furry friend is as simple as popping them in the wash!

Consider These Tips Before Washing:

  • Remove any internal machinery or noisemaker (if possible).
  • Remove clothing items or accessories to avoid loss or damage.
  • Ensure there are no rips or tears in the seams or stitching.

Use a small amount of regular detergent on a gentle cycle with cold water. We don’t recommend washing plush stuffed animals, ones with embellishments on the outside, or stuffed toys that have musical machinery or battery packs sewn inside them. To avoid damage, it’s best to hand wash these types of stuffed toys.

7. Reusable Shopping Bags

We’re sure that reusable or recyclable shopping bags are a staple in your shopping routine. Because these fabric bags are high-touch items and may experience many food spills (leaving them with stains and unpleasant odours), we recommend throwing them in the wash every so often.

Consider These Tips Before Washing

  • Remove the bottom insert and use a disinfectant spray to clean it.
  • Turn the bag inside out.

When washing reusable shopping bags of different materials, follow these instructions:

  • Canvas and fabric bags: Many canvas bags come with washing instructions. However, if yours doesn’t, wash it in hot water with regular detergent and thoroughly air dry.
  • Nylon bags: Reusable nylon bags (without insulation) can be machine washed with warm water, regular detergent, and then air-dried.
  • Plastic (polypropylene) bags: For bags developed from man-made materials like polypropylene, use warm water, regular detergent, and a gentle cycle setting on your washer for thorough cleaning. Remember to air dry this type of bag to avoid damage.

8. Leather Handbags

Leather tends to be one of those materials many people have come to believe can’t be salvaged once it gets dirty. But you can wash your leather handbag safely and enjoy it for years to come.

Consider These Tips Before Washing:

  • Empty your bag by checking all pockets.
  • Take out any removable liners or inserts.
  • Use castile soap instead of detergent.

Remember, when washing any leather material, be gentle. So, set your washing machine to a delicate cycle, and use 1/4 cup of castile soap with cold water. Finally, be amazed at how brand new your leather handbag looks!

9. Mop Heads

Many cleaning tools don’t get sanitised regularly, which can render them useless. Many people would rather throw away a mop head and get a new one than go through the tedious task of cleaning it by hand. However, you don’t have to waste unnecessary energy or time hand washing—throw it in the washing machine!

Consider These Tips Before Washing:

  • Replace your mop head after 15 to 30 uses (500 uses for microfiber mop heads).
  • Make sure there are no food particles trapped between the mop fibres.

We recommend washing a mop head by placing it in a mesh laundry bag. Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle and use hot water. Once it’s thoroughly clean, remove it from the mesh bag and hang it to dry. Allow the mop to completely dry before its next use to avoid the growth of mildew and bacteria.

10. Outdoor Cushions

Your patio chair cushions have probably seen better days. With what is probably a good few summers’ worths of soaking up the sun (and being exposed to the other elements), it’s time for a good wash.

Consider These Tips Before Washing:

  • Vacuum cushions to remove debris from crevasses.
  • Add a cup of white vinegar to the load for added bacteria-killing power.
  • Double-check tags to ensure the fabric will hold up in the wash.

As an added timesaver, you can wash multiple cushions at a time, so long as your machine is large enough to accommodate them. Frontload washers are usually ideal for such a load; however, top-load washers work great, too. Use a small amount of regular detergent (with a cup of white vinegar) and run cushions and chair pads through a normal wash cycle. Set out your cushions or hang them on a line to dry in direct sunlight for a day or until completely dry.

Though we recommend that you wash each of these items fairly regularly, we also recognise that staying on top of all of your domestic chores can be incredibly time-consuming and use up a huge amount of energy.

This isn’t ideal if you have a jam-packed schedule as it is. Luckily, Merry Maids is here to help with your home cleaning needs. Whether you just need a little extra help around the house, or a more comprehensive deep clean, our cleaning experts would love to assist you.

Contact us to find out how we can help you by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or scheduling a clean online today.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

Earth Day | Eco friendly washing tips

Today is Earth Day, so we thought we put together a few useful and eco-friendly washing tips for you to implement in your home.

1. Wash at 30°

Of course, you always need to check the care labels before loading up the washing machine. But, high temperatures aren’t always necessary and can waste a lot of energy, and considering the world we’re living in at the moment, this isn’t such a bad thing! Choosing to wash at 30 degrees instead of a higher setting can save you a whopping 40% of energy and will still leave your clothes looking clean and smelling fresh!

 

2. Use plant-based products

You can help the environment in many ways by using biodegradable plant-based products for your washing.

If you can, use plant-based products that favour biodegradable ingredients to reduce the impact of your wastewater on aquatic life. There’s a chance that on your washing up liquid or cleaning spray, you might have a warning that says “harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects”, if this is the case, look for plant-based products that are better for the environment

 

3. Shorter cycles where possible

Just as colder cycles can save you energy, washing laundry that’s not stained or completely covered in dirt on a shorter cycle saves energy too and it will clean them just as well! Trust us, change to a quicker cycle for your general clothing and you’ll see absolutely no change in the quality of wash, but certainly save on energy!

 

4. Avoid chlorine bleach

Chlorine may have plenty of benefits when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting, however, once it’s released into the environment and reaches water, it reacts with other elements to form toxins that are harmful to wildlife.

 

5. Don’t do half loads

Quite a simple tip this one… Always have a full drum before you start any washing cycle on your machine. This is more beneficial as you’ll still be using the same amount of water and energy as you would if you were to only half fill your machine.

 

6. Use concentrated detergent

Water is the most valuable resource on Earth, yet every day all over the world it’s wasted by the bucket load! Try and use detergents that are concentrated, meaning they’ve used less water in the production process and a bonus they’ll last you even longer. Concentrated detergents can lead to huge energy and water savings!

 

7. Wash clothes inside-out

This quick trick will help your clothes to look new, meaning you’ll have to replace them less often. If fewer clothes are purchased then less water and fossil fuels will be used as fewer clothes will be mass-produced.

 

We hope these tips can in use, if you need your home cleaning then contact your local Merry Maids today.

 

Written by Tim Marshall, Digital Content Writer

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.

How to eliminate window condensation

Have you found yourself waking up to windows covered in condensation? Here’s an easy way to get rid of this pesky winter window pest.

Condensation can be a nightmare at this time of year. For home renters and buyers alike, water collecting on your windows can be a real hindrance to your property.

The build-up of water left from condensing air can lead to a number of household issues, such as black mould, damp, and draughts. Not only can these be bad for your home, but also can have a real negative impact on your own personal health.

Luckily, our Merry Maids cleaning experts are here with a quick and easy fix for window condensation, and it comes from a German method called ‘Stosslüften’.

Stosslüften is an alternative to a more well-known method of condensation reduction, which is essentially to open the windows with condensation on. However, this is often not cost or energy effective as it can take almost all day for the condensation to evaporate. Instead, the Stosslüften method suggests creating a strong draft throughout the house by opening windows all over your property for three minutes. This will exchange all of the hot air inside for cold air outside, which holds less moisture. It will also eliminate condensation quickly by ridding your house of the humidity that allows it to thrive.

So next time you wake up to windows covered in water – give Stosslüften a go. And as an extra preventative method against condensation and its unpleasant effects, give Merry Maids a call.

Our cleaning experts can undertake a number of tasks to help keep your home in its best possible condition, including cleaning tiles, mirrors and deodorising in bathrooms and suites – a common place for condensation to wreak havoc. One study found 44% of British renters live in properties with no extractor fan in the bathroom, and 31% live in a property with no window in the bathroom – meaning humid air has nowhere to go after a hot shower.

And if unfortunately, you do find your house has developed mould due to condensation, you can call on one of the ServiceMaster family of brands, ServiceMaster Restore to eliminate mould growths in your home.

If you think it’s time to make sure your home is at its best, find your nearest Merry Maidsbranch to schedule a clean or find out more about our services today.

At home DIY cleaning hacks

We’ve put together some DIY Cleaning Hacks that are sure to get your house looking squeaky clean without shelling out for some expensive & potentially ineffective cleaning products.

Stubborn stains, grimy appliances, and no solution in sight? Here are some cleaning hacks that you can do at home to get your house looking ship-shape in no time.

Cleaning a Dirty Oven Door

Let’s face it, our ovens see a lot of traffic, especially with the holiday period just gone. This can leave your oven door looking less than desirable due to grime building upon the glass. Not only is this quite an eyesore, but it also might make it difficult to even see what you’re cooking!

Luckily, there is an easy solution that only needs a little help from something that you probably already have in your home: Dishwasher Tablets. That’s right, the little pods that we use to clean our dishwashers can also come in handy elsewhere. To do this trick, you need to be sure that the glass in your oven door is removable so that you can get at it yourself. Now, you may not know the ins and outs of your oven’s design specification, but, in most cases, there is an easy way to remove the glass from your oven door.

Usually, if you lower your oven door, you can look for a clip at each top corner that will slide off quite easily if you press it firmly and slide it towards you with one finger – we also recommend wearing some sort of hygienic gloves whilst doing this hack. Once you’ve done this, you can actually lift the entire glass panel of your oven door out! Now, you can place it down and make it much easier to clean. This is where the dishwasher tablets come in as you can apply them directly to the glass, and along with a little hot water, use them as a sort of rubber and completely erase all that nasty dirt and grime.

Cleaning your Shower Head

Our shower heads get a lot of use, and as a result, over time can develop a build-up of limescale and grime which can affect the hygiene and overall performance of your shower. If your shower head is detachable, we have a strange, yet cheap and effective solution for you: Cola. That’s right, simply buy some cheap non-branded cola from your local supermarket, and then place your showerhead into a deep plastic bag. Then, fill the bag with cola until the showerhead is completely submerged. Seal the bag with a clip or string and leave it hanging somewhere safe where it will be untouched. Leave it for a few hours and the acidic cola will actually gradually dissolve the limescale build-up!

Bicarb is a Cleaner’s Best Friend

You might not think it, but the humble bicarbonate of soda has a multitude of uses within the home for keeping things clean. You can make bicarb a part of your cleaning routine in a number of ways, including:

  • Remove tannin stains – You can use a DIY paste of bicarbonate of soda and water to get rid of tannin stains on teaspoons and the inside of your cups. Just be sure to rinse them thoroughly when you’re done.
  • Absorbing food odours – Keeping a ramekin with powdered bicarbonate of soda in your fridge, on top of your salad drawer can help to keep it fresh.
  • General Cleaning – You can use it to clean countertops, sinks, microwaves, and even cooking utensils. Similar to removing tannin stains, just make a paste using water and bicarb, scrub, then rinse.
  • Remove Odours – Use it to deodorise carpets, pet beds, and upholstered furniture. Simply sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda onto a surface, then leave it to sit for 15 mins, and vacuum it up thoroughly. This also works on clothes. Just fill the sink with cool water and 5-6 tablespoons of bicarb and soak the offending garment for thirty minutes. Then wash it again, and dry it off naturally.
  • Restore shine to sterling silver – Simply make up a paste of three parts bicarb to one part water, and apply it to silverware with a lint-free cloth, then rinse it off.

If all this DIY seems like a lot of effort and you would rather leave your home cleaning to the professionals, why not get in touch with us? Find your nearest Merry Maids business today to book a clean or to find out more about our services.

Top tips on cleaning your fridge

We’ve put together some top tips on cleaning your fridge.

The humble refrigerator plays an often understated yet important role and gets a lot of use all year round. The holidays are now so last year, however, they can create a lot of mess, and quite the daunting task once all of the leftovers have finally all been eaten. That’s why it’s important to know the proper way to effectively and efficiently clean your fridge.

Luckily, we’ve made a list of steps to help you out:

Preparing for the clean

Cleaning your fridge doesn’t actually 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
  • Microfiber cloths

Clear it out

The first thing to do when cleaning out your fridge is to make sure its empty. This might be quite the undertaking if you’ve stocked up for Christmas, so planning ahead is essential. Really, your fridge needs cleaning every 3-6 months, so choosing a time in-between shops might be a good idea.

During the cleaning process, you’ll need to use cool bags as a substitute for the fridge. This is because products like meat and dairy need to be refrigerated to stop the rapid growth of bacteria that happens at room temperature.

Wipe down shelves and drawers

Now that your fridge is empty and you can properly get to them, it’s time to clean out all of its shelves and drawers. A lot of fridges have removable shelves so you don’t have to hunch over inside of it to clean them. In the case you do have removable shelves, it might be a good call to check the manual if you’re not sure about taking them out or putting them back. The good news is, once removed, you can wash them up in the sink with hot water and some washing-up liquid. However, it’s probably best to leave them to warm up to room temperature if they’re made of glass as they might crack or shatter when they come into contact with hot water.

Once this is done you can move onto the drawers, which you may also be able to wash in the sink depending on size. In the case of bigger drawers like salad crisper drawers the best thing to do is still to give them a good wipe down with hot water and dish soap.

Next, you’ll want to clean the areas around the shelves too. Food residue can easily build up in the joins between the shelves so make sure you scrape all of this away. Give the shelves and drawers a rinse with clean water to get rid of soap suds and then allow to dry naturally on the drainer or a tea towel and move on to…

Cleaning the inside

To clean the inside of the fridge, you can use diluted bleach, white vinegar or a commercial all-purpose cleaner. Remember to always make sure you’re always wearing rubber gloves when cleaning with these products. If you use any solution that uses water as a base, or just want to use water and soap, remember to only use cold water as hot water can actually raise the temperature of your fridge; meaning that it takes longer before you can return perishable foods to it.

When it comes to utensils, 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. Perhaps surprisingly, a cotton bud or toothbrush can be very useful here to remove old food. They’re also great for fiddly and hard to reach places, like the drip hole at the back of the fridge. This is a key area when cleaning the inside as it can very easily become clogged and dirty. Furthermore, as with the shelve joiners, be sure to be particularly thorough when scrubbing the grooves where the shelves rest, as they can be hotspots for dirt. When you’ve finished you can dry the inside with paper towels or a dry clean tea towel.

And the outside

Particularly when paying attention to disinfecting due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, remember to give the outside of the fridge similar focus and attention by wiping down doors and handles. For the exterior of the fridge, we recommend using a microfiber cloth, as these are best at removing streaks and fingerprints on surfaces.

Put 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. 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 return everything else to its proper place. For tips on food storage hygiene and the proper way to keep your fridge click here.

We can help

If this all feels like a little too much work, why not leave it to the professionals? We offer a refrigerator clean as an extra service when a home clean is purchased. To book a clean or find out more, contact your local Merry Maids today.

Back to school organisation tips

With Summer coming to a close and the new school term edging closer, getting back into a routine can be challenging.

The following tips can help you get your home ready and organised for the first school term.

Continue to follow government guidelines on COVID

While more than 47 million people in the UK have had at least one dose of the Coronavirus vaccine, it’s still vital that you follow government health guidelines to protect yourself and those around you. A few simple things you can continue to do include:

  • Washing your hands regularly
  • Wearing a reusable face mask when picking your child/children up from school
  • Cleaning high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces regularly
  • Keeping a close eye on individuals showing symptoms

Create a Homework Station

It’s important for a small, quiet area, preferably with a desk, to be tidied and organised for your children to have their own space to do their homework.

You can organise all of the school/office supplies within this area, including pens, scissors, highlighters, pencils and anything else they may need.

Having everything in one place should discourage them from getting distracted and wander off to search for any items they may need.

Organise the School Bags

Always make sure that before and after school the kid’s bags are organised, as they will get out of hand if you’re not careful!

Our recommendation is to keep the backpacks hanging up near the front door, making sure homework and anything like permission slips are removed from the bag. Everything else, if not needed to stay within the bags.

Create a school bag checklist for you and your kids to go through every morning to ensure nothing is forgotten.

Have it All on a Checklist

We’ve all got out of routine by now after spending summer days out with the family, but now it’s time to get organised.

For younger school children have a point by point checklist, which should include things such as;

  • Make the bed
  • Eat breakfast
  • Clean dishes
  • Brush teeth
  • Organise bag etc.

The checklist should include after school chores as well, such as cleaning and packing lunchboxes, doing homework & taking care of chores.

Have Clothes Ready To Go

Laying out clothes for the next day is a huge time saver for you and your kids.

You could even be extremely organised and lay out clothes for the whole week, including clothes for the evening as well as school uniform.

Get your kids into a routine of doing this on a Sunday afternoon, and then check they’ve got everything they need for the whole week.

What to include;

  • School uniform for the week
  • Gym kit for gym day or any after school sports
  • Evening clothes to change into when they’re home

 

With the help of these back to school organisation tips, you’ll be back on a slick schedule in no time at all.

However, the increased amount of activities during school time can leave you begging for more time to complete your daily housekeeping schedule. That’s where we can help, get in contact with your local Merry Maids today.

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.

Home Office Organisation Tips

With it being ‘Organise Your Home Office Day’ today and a lot more people working from home due to the pandemic, we thought we’d share with you how to organise your home office, so you can spend less time hunting for documents or wrestling with wires.

Organising your Bills and Post

Most people have to contend with paper bills and post in spite of the fact that today’s world is mostly digitized, and nothing seems to pile up quicker than paper. These home office organisation ideas can help you tame the chaos:

  • Place labelled magazine holders on your desktop or wall to create out of the way in and out boxes. You can also use these to store letterheaded paper, stationery and envelopes
  • Keep a recycling bin and\or shredder nearby to ensure your deck isn’t cluttered with paperwork and mail you don’t need
  • Devise a colour-coding system and file post, bills and important paperwork accordingly. Take this method to the next step by labelling each file so you don’t spend hours hunting for paperwork

Divide and Conquer

When you’re figuring out how to organise your home office, don’t underestimate the value of making sure all of your desk items have a place of their own. Here are some ideas for home office organisation that can help you keep that desk area straight:

  • Drawer dividers: These shallow trays are excellent for keeping everything organised, from USB drives, sticky notes to pens and staples
  • Containers: Containers can be used to hold everything you don’t need immediately, including files and backup printer paper
  • Filing inserts: Install one of these in a deeper desk drawer so you can keep those colour-coded files out of sight
  • Labels: Avoid wasting time opening and shutting drawers on storage containers by labelling each drawer front with the names of all the items stored within
  • Bunch together: Place like items near one another, for example, store envelopes and stamps together to make your workspace more efficient
  • Wall space: Install shelves to hold reference books, stationery and other home office odds and ends
  • Control your cords: Use binder clips or other clips to keep computer cords and cables wrangled. Tip: You’ll find plenty of ideas for this on Pinterest.

Do Some Quick Cleaning

It honestly takes more time to think about how to keep your desk clean than it does to actually clean it, make sure you take some time to do the following:

  • Put pens, pencils, USB drives and calculators back in their place
  • Take the time to shred or recycle paperwork you don’t need any longer so your desktop is clear
  • File any documents that you’ll need in the future and replace files neatly
  • Return coffee mugs or any snack dishes to the kitchen
  • Quickly tidy up your desk each time you finish working

That’s how to keep your desk clean, and it takes all but five minutes.

Now you’ve figured out how to organise your home office, you can contact your local Merry Maids to keep your office and the rest of your home clean.

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.

 

Tips on using your time wisely

Do you use your time wisely or have you found that running around like a headless chicken, feeling rushed and crazed has become the norm?

Life can seem overwhelming on occasions, but knowing how to balance time between family, friends, work, housekeeping and yourself can decrease your stress levels, keep you organised and make life more enjoyable.

Work out how to manage your time, so that you can maintain a clean house while still doing the things you love. Check out the following tips on using time wisely.

Stick to a Cleaning Schedule

When thinking about how to organise your time and keep a tidy home, you need to start off by outlining a daily cleaning routine. This will help you add structure to your housekeeping, so that you can stay on track and also enable you to set small, manageable goals, so that you don’t get overwhelmed and abandon tasks.

Make a To-Do List

Get your week started off right by having a to-do list ready to go.

Include anything from items on your cleaning schedule and trips to the grocery store to your daily workout and reading for an hour at night. Batching tasks together — such as prepping lunch for the next day and cleaning kitchen counters — can help you be more efficient, so that you have a chance to do the things you enjoy.

In addition, being organised will allow yourself plenty of buffer time in between errands and chores, which will reduce any worries about getting behind.

Try Bullet Journaling

Bullet journals are all the rage these days, as they allow you a creative means to track your accomplishments. These notebooks can start out as simple logs in which you record tasks you need to take care of, such as drinking enough water, working out, cleaning, organising and so forth. Whatever you want to keep an eye on goes in your bullet journal.

Though they can be very plain, many people make them fun by using them as a means of artistic expression. Check out bullet journal ideas on Pinterest for some inspiration on making your own journal a time-saving masterpiece.

Practice Mindfulness

Being “mindful” allows you to use time wisely, as you’re focusing all of your attention and energy on a single task at hand.

For example, if you’re organising the fridge and/or freezer, you might get distracted when taking items off the shelves. The next thing you know, you’re unpacking the cabinets and your kitchen drawers to rearrange those, and your initial task has been forgotten.

If you were practising mindfulness, however, you’d complete the fridge/freezer organisation before moving on to another part of the kitchen. This not only makes you more likely to finish household chores, it keeps your mind tuned into one thing, so you do the best job possible and don’t get overwhelmed.

Take Some Time for You

There’s no point in using time wisely if there’s none left over for you at the end of the day. Don’t be afraid to turn down the occasional requests to have lunch with friends or even an invite to join your video chat catch-up with friends. When you bite off more than you can chew, you end up stressed out and wondering when you’ll ever get a chance to tidy up and have a moment to yourself.

Even when you know how to manage your time, there will still be occasions when you may need some backup.

For instance, you might find you’re too busy to stick to a cleaning schedule during the school year or around the holidays. If that’s the case, don’t waste a minute worrying: let the professionals at your local Merry Maids take care of the housekeeping for you, so you can spend time doing the things you truly enjoy.