Tag Archive for: cleaning tips

Why hire a professional cleaner for a moving-out clean?

Moving on out? Don’t let the cleaning stop you in your tracks with a moving-out clean.

Moving home is widely agreed upon to be one of life’s most stressful experiences.

In fact, according to Nicky Lidbetter, chief executive of charity Anxiety UK,

“Most of us like familiarity, routine and order. When you’re moving, you have none of those.”

So, why on Earth would you add to that stress by cleaning the whole house yourself?

Though it is a further expense, there are several benefits to hiring a professional home cleaning service for a moving-out cleaning – which our experts have put together in this handy blog post.


  1. Saving you time and energy

Hiring a professional for a moving-out clean saves you time and energy better spent on the other strenuous tasks required to move home.

Let’s face it, when moving, you’re being pulled in multiple directions, and you have a million jobs to do; the last thing you want is to clean the house from top to bottom.

Especially when moving has been linked to high levels of stress and fatigue that can often lead to sleep deprivation.

Your body could likely do with a break.

Whether giving you time to focus on other jobs or to take the strain off, the time you save with a professional cleaner is the time you get back!

It leaves you one less thing to worry about, relieving some of the heavy mental burdens we carry when moving home.


  1. Bespoke cleaning

Professional cleaners like Merry Maids UK have the tools, insurance, expertise and skills to deliver a premium service with every moving-out clean.

So, you know you’re in safe hands.

We account for your needs and priorities for the property and work to that in the time that suits you best.

Whatever time is available to you, we can support you with whatever helps you the most.

Even if that means working around moving companies, we’re used to working with third parties on moving days.

Be it the whole house, or specific rooms that you want to ensure are sparkling or to top up cleaning you’ve already done yourself.

Whether it’s a full spring clean well ahead of the move or a quick top and tail on the day, we will be there to handle whatever you need at a time that suits you.

So, if you’ve packed your vacuum and cleaning supplies in a box to be moved, we’ll be there on your moving day with our bespoke products and equipment to ensure you leave your home sparkling clean.

Often operating in teams and trained in efficiency while maintaining the best results, a professional cleaner is also likely to cultivate a higher standard of cleaning in a shorter time than can be achieved on your own.


  1. A proper send-off

For many of us, a home is something to take pride in – and that doesn’t change just because you’ve moved.

As Debbie Walker from Merry Maids of Croydon can attest.

She says for her customers who have benefitted from moving cleaning, it helps them leave their home – which they have poured so much love and care into over the years – in a state that feels appropriate and (dare we say) respectful.

Which is why her team call them “courtesy cleans”.

With a professional cleaner, you’re working alongside people you can trust to deliver reliable service when you need it most.

It’s also an emotional time particularly, given the attachment we may have to a property.,

After all, home is where the heart is.

In that sense, a professional moving-out cleaning may be your way of caring for the home you love and giving it a proper send-off.


Need a professional moving out clean?

Whether for emotional, practical or well-being purposes, there are many reasons to hire a professional cleaner before your move.

If you’re moving home and would benefit from the support of professionals with over 40 years of experience delivering premium home cleaning across the UK, find your nearest Merry Maids business or book online today.

How to make Valentine’s flowers last longer

Make your flowers go further this Valentine’s Day with these tips.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

However it is that you’re celebrating today, it’s safe to say that flowers are probably involved in some way.

Whether your valentine surprises you with red roses or pink peonies today, it would be nice if they could last longer than the end of the week, wouldn’t it?

That’s why we’ve put together five handy tips for making your Valentine’s Day stems last longer.


  1. Trim your stems at an angle

You might have heard this one if you got the flowers from a florist, as it’s a must for proper flower care: Trim the stems at an angle before you put them in water.

Why is this advised?

Your flowers drink through a part of their stems called the xylem, which carries water and nutrients from the root to the flower.

Once picked, the end of a flower dries out, so cutting the end of their stems before putting them in water allows them to absorb water and drink properly.

Cutting them at an angle is advised because it allows more surface area to drink from.

While cutting straight is harmless, cutting at a 45-degree angle means the entire stem’s surface area is always in contact with the water and can absorb more helpful nutrients to live longer.


  1. Remove foliage under the water line

Any leaves and foliage and or leaves under the water line of your flowers should be removed.

This is because any foliage left under the water line will begin to rot, encouraging bacteria growth and damaging the plant.


  1. Add bleach and sugar solution

Hear us out on this one…

Add a little bleach to the flower water.

Add 1/4 teaspoon bleach per 1 litre of water.

Alternatively, you can add a solution of bleach and sugar.

Add three drops of bleach and one teaspoon of sugar in 1-quart (1 litre) water to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and prevent the water from growing cloudy.


  1. The penny drops

Copper is a natural fungicide, so dropping a penny into the vase will also help kill off the harmful bacteria festering in the old water and try to kill off your lovely bouquet.


  1. Refresh the water

Do you feel good in a dirty environment?

Neither do your stems.

For optimal bloom and vase life, refresh the water of your bouquet every 2-3 days or when it starts to look cloudy (as this is your sign of rot below the water line).


Show your home some love this Valentine’s Day

Show your home you care this Valentine’s Day by refreshing your space with Merry Maids UK.

Go above and beyond for you and your home by trusting the professionals at Merry Maids to utilise over 30 years of experience as home cleaning experts to deliver results you’ll love.

To see how we can help you, find your nearest Merry Maids business or book online today.

How to get rid of window condensation

Expert help on getting rid of window condensation.

Have you found yourself waking up to windows covered in condensation?

Condensation can be a nightmare at this time of year.

For home renters and buyers alike, water collecting on your windows can be bad for your property.

Here’s an easy way to eliminate this pesky winter window pest from the experts of Merry Maids UK.


Causes and effects of window condensation

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.

The build-up of water from condensing air can lead to multiple household issues, such as black mould, dampness, and draughts.

Not only can these be bad for your home, but have a real negative impact on your health.


How to eliminate window condensation with Stosslüften

This quick and easy fix for window condensation comes from a German method called ‘Stosslüften’.

Stosslüften is an alternative to a more well-known method of condensation reduction, 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 draft throughout the house by opening windows all over your property for three minutes.

This will exchange 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.


How the professionals can help with condensation

Our cleaning experts can do various things to help keep your home in its best possible condition, including cleaning tiles and mirrors and deodorising in bathrooms and suites – a common place for condensation to wreak havoc.

If your house has developed mould due to condensation, you can call disaster restoration experts like ServiceMaster Restore to eliminate mould growths in your home.


Contact Us

To start saving time and energy on your cleaning, call in the experts at Merry Maids now by finding your nearest business or booking online today.

Why should I get my home professionally spring-cleaned?

The benefits of a professional spring-cleaning service.

We don’t know about you, but we’re ready for spring.

It’s when nature washes away the cold of winter and freshens up for a brighter year ahead.

The flowers start to bloom, and the temperatures begin to rise. What’s not to love?

Preparing for spring also means it’s time to start thinking about your spring cleaning.

It may not always be pleasant, but the practice of getting down and dirty to clear out the clutter and the cobwebs of the past year is a vital part of the springtime.

Though the adage often cited is ‘if you want a job done properly, do it yourself,’ we’re here to tell you there is another way.

In this blog post, our cleaning experts walk you through the benefits of hiring a professional cleaning service for your spring cleaning.


What’s involved in spring cleaning?

Spring cleans are a deeper and more comprehensive cleaning than a regular maintenance clean and are all about clearing out the house at a deeper level to prepare for the year ahead.

Regular cleaning keeps your home in top condition, while deep cleaning gives that extra oomph and sparkle to make your home truly SHINE.

Our expert deep and spring cleans are ideal when moving in or out of a property, preparing your home to sell, having the in-laws visiting, in the aftermath of building or renovation works or needing a complete freshen-up.

They can include:
  • Cleaning out kitchen cupboards
  • Vacuuming curtains
  • Cleaning inside windows
  • Cleaning inside and or defrosting fridges and freezers
  • Washing internal doors and window frames
  • Moving heavier furniture to clean behind (where possible)

How do the professionals spring clean your home?

Professional cleaning services like those at Merry Maids use experienced professionals trained to deliver excellent-value home cleaning with a tried and tested methodology and products to produce the best results.

On every visit, your Merry Maids team will dust, wash, sanitise and vacuum your home using our equipment and specially formulated products.

We operate a strict cleaning process that utilises coloured cloths for different areas of the home to avoid cross-contamination.

All our maids are trained in Health and Safety regulations and procedures* to use our products and equipment

*Practices may vary by area due to area-specific considerations.

How much does it cost to have my home professionally cleaned?

There is no standard pricing index used to determine domestic cleaning service fees.

Some businesses charge by the hour, while others will charge for the scope of the cleaning involved.

Either way, professional cleaning services will determine their prices based on the following factors:

  1. Size
  2. Layout and number of rooms
  3. Style of home
  4. Number of residents
  5. Factoring of children and pets
  6. Frequency of cleaning
  7. Location and travel distance from business location

To see the value of professional spring-cleaning services in your area, contact your nearest Merry Maids business for a free, no-obligation quotation.

Why pay when you can do it yourself, you ask.

We’ll tell you…


  1. Professional spring cleaning saves you time and effort

There’s no doubt about it… spring cleaning is a massive undertaking.

Especially if you’re already juggling family and childcare responsibilities, work, and the basics like socialisation and a good amount of rest.

Whatever your idea is of time well spent, we know it doesn’t involve doing the cleaning.

Entrusting your spring cleaning to professionals can save you hours of effort and give you time to focus on what matters most.


  1. The bespoke and professional touch

At Merry Maids, we love to clean. It’s what we do.

Over our 30 years of delivering home cleaning expertise, we have refined the experience had by our customers to a fine art.

We know that each home and each individual we clean for is unique.

So, we go above and beyond to ensure you get the clean you deserve, not just the clean you expect, and work with you to understand the specific needs of you and your home and work tirelessly to ensure that you’re more than happy with gleaming results – at a time that suits you.

Professional cleaning staff like ours are trained with the latest (and often exclusive) products, tools, and best practices to make every room in the house sparkle.


  1. Professional spring cleaning is good for your health

Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefit, a good spring cleaning is also good for your health!

According to Verywell Mind, a cluttered and dirty environment can be harmful to your mental health, as it has been scientifically linked to higher rates of stress, depression and anxiety, as well as decreased rates of focus.

In addition, studies have shown that having a clean home typically is the mark of healthier inhabitants.

Cleanliness in the home has even been found to be a better predictor of good health for the residents than the walkability of its neighbourhood!

Cleaning can also improve the air quality of your home.

This is extra vital in the spring as the winter often involves more time spent inside with less fresh air in the home – causing more dust on the property.

The equipment used by professional cleaners is designed to eliminate harmful dust in the home and can benefit your health and air quality.


  1. Professional support with additional health requirements

We know that people aren’t always able to clean for themselves.

Following our successful Forget Me Knot Challenge last year – where our businesses across the UK raised over £4000 for the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends in a matter of weeks – Merry Maids UK have this year become an official partner in aid of Alzheimer’s Society.

At Merry Maids, our staff understand the specific requirements of the over 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK and ensure their homes are clean, healthy places for them to live, maintained by friendly, local people who support them with any additional requirements that come with dementia and other conditions – even if that means being someone to make a cup of tea and have a chat with.


Why hire Merry Maids to spring clean your home?

Put the spring back in your cleaning with Merry Maids.

The springtime is for enjoying, not cleaning.

Get a cleaner, fresher home faster and reclaim your free time with the expert help of your local cleaning professionals.

Are you tired of spending your free time hunched over to clean cobwebbed corners rather than enjoying the sunshine?

Your springtime is sacred.

Booking your spring cleaning with your local professionals now could be the saving grace you’ve been waiting for.

At Merry Maids, we’ve been experts in home cleaning for over 30 years, providing professional and bespoke services as one-off, regular or deep cleans and taking the hassle out of your spring cleaning.

Naturally, you might not love cleaning, but we do. It’s what we do best!


Contact Us

To start saving time and energy on your spring cleaning, book your spring cleaning with the experts at Merry Maids now by finding your nearest business or booking online today.

At home DIY cleaning hacks

DIY cleaning hacks from the experts.

Stubborn stains, grimy appliances, and no solution in sight?

Here are some cleaning hacks you can do at home to get your house looking ship-shaped 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 see what you’re cooking!

Luckily, there is an easy solution that only needs a little help from something 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, ensure that the glass in your oven door is removable.

You may not know the ins and outs of your oven’s design specification.

But often, you can easily 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 gloves whilst doing this hack.

Once you’re done with this, you can lift the entire glass panel of your oven door out and make it much easier to clean!

This is where the dishwasher tablets come in. You can use them directly on the glass and apply hot water.

You can now use them like an eraser and remove all that nasty dirt and grime.


Cleaning your Shower Head

Our shower heads get a lot of use and, as a result, develop a build-up of limescale and grime that can affect your shower’s hygiene and performance.

If your shower head is detachable, we have an odd yet cheap and effective solution for you: Cola.

Buy some cheap cola from your local supermarket and 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 hang it somewhere safe where it will be untouched.

Leave it for a few hours, and the acidic cola will 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 many uses within the home for keeping things clean.

You can make bicarb a part of your cleaning routine in several 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 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 clean countertops, sinks, microwaves, and cooking utensils. Like removing tannin stains, make a paste using water and bicarb, scrub, and rinse.
  • Remove Odours – Use it to deodorise carpets, pet beds, and upholstered furniture. Sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda onto a surface, leave it to sit for 15 minutes, and vacuum it up thoroughly. This also works on clothes. Fill the sink with cool water and 5-6 tablespoons of bicarb, and soak the offending garment for 30 minutes. Then wash again and dry off naturally.
  • Restore shine to sterling silver – 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.

Is your time too tight for DIY cleaning?

If all this DIY seems like a lot of effort and you would prefer to leave your home cleaning to the professionals, find your nearest Merry Maids business today to book a cleaning or to learn more about our services.

Cleaning in the new year

Is your New Year’s resolution a clean home?

Happy New Year!

It’s on occasions like the new year when it becomes clear how much time flies.

But often, this means that the time for cleaning flies away with the fairies.

However, now many of us may find ourselves coming out of a mince-pie-induced haze and realising the house looked cleaner before Santa came crashing down the chimney!

It’s in times like this that a little extra guidance can help.

Our cleaning experts at Merry Maids UK have put together some pointers to revitalise your home this new year.


Wash Your Windows

Windows are a component of your home that probably doesn’t get much TLC. But we’re not passing judgment.

Window washing only needs to be completed once a year at least.

However, we recommend a window cleaning schedule of every six months as this will ensure the glass panes are cleaned.

This will be doing you favours for the rest of the winter months, as it improves the insulation of your windows by ensuring the seals are intact.


Clean Behind Appliances

We’re all guilty of letting crumbs and other food particles fall between or behind appliances and counters.

What’s worse is that these areas barely see the light of day once everything is in place.

So, a new year cleaning routine wouldn’t be complete without cleaning behind appliances and bulky electronics.

This is a big one of those forgotten tasks that have an impact, and by resolving it this year, you can begin to make it a part of your annual cleaning regimen.


Tackle Elevated Areas

When did you last clean the ceiling or the tops of your upper kitchen cabinets?

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to start making those cleaning duties a part of your routine.

Dust and dirt collect in those areas all year and could negatively impact your air quality and make it difficult for your loved ones to breathe easier.

Instead of a conventional duster, use a dry microfiber cloth to attract dust and keep from leaving residue behind.


Want to start this year off with a clean?

If you resolved to tidy up around the home but can’t find the time or energy amongst everything else happening in January, don’t worry.

Your local Merry Maids business can carry out a professional one-off or regular cleaning service to get your home fresh and sparkling this new year.

Find your nearest Merry Maids business to book a free, no-obligation quotation with your local cleaning specialists, or book online today to get that fresh New Year feeling in your home this January without lifting a finger.

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.

Top tips on cleaning your fridge

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.

This can make them a breeding ground for bacteria.

One study on the average frost-free home fridge found that salad drawers contained 7,850 bacteria units per colony-forming unit (cfu/cm2).

Therefore, it’s vital to know the proper way to clean your fridge.

Luckily, our cleaning experts have made a list of steps to help you out:


Preparing for the clean

Cleaning your fridge doesn’t require many speciality products.

Here are some things you will 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

Clear it out

The first thing to do when cleaning out your fridge is to ensure it’s empty.

This might be quite the undertaking if you’re stocking up for Christmas, so planning is essential.

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.

This is because products like meat and dairy need to be refrigerated to stop the rapid growth of bacteria that occurs 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.

Many fridges have removable shelves, so you don’t hunch over inside of them to clean them.

If you have removable shelves, it might be a good call to check the manual if you’re unsure 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 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.

For larger drawers like salad crisper drawers, the best thing to do is to give them a good wipe-down with hot water and dish soap.

Next, clean the areas around the shelves.

Food residue can build up in the joints between the shelves, so make sure you scrape all of this away.

Rinse the shelves and drawers with clean water to eliminate soap suds.

Allow them to dry naturally on the drainer or a tea towel, and move on to…


Cleaning the inside

To clean the inside, you can use diluted bleach, white vinegar or a commercial all-purpose cleaner.

Ensure you’re always wearing rubber gloves when cleaning with these products.

If you use any solution that uses water as a base or want to use water and soap, remember to only use cold water.

Hot water can 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 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 great for removing 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 vital area inside, as it can become clogged and dirty.

Furthermore, as with the shelve joiners, be thorough when scrubbing the grooves where the shelves rest, as they can be hotspots for dirt.

When finished, you can dry the inside with paper towels or a dry and clean tea towel.


And the outside

Remember to give the outside of the fridge similar focus and attention by wiping down doors and handles.

For the exterior, we recommend using a microfiber cloth, as these are best at removing streaks and fingerprints on surfaces.


Put everything back

When you’ve finished cleaning, put the shelves, drawers, and door inserts back into their slots.

Check your condiments for mould, wipe them down to ensure any residue is removed, and place them back into the fridge.

Then, return everything else to its proper place.


Need a professional cleaner?

If this is too much work, leave it to the professionals.

For 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 book your free, no-obligation quote by finding your nearest Merry Maids business today.

How to clean urine out of a mattress

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

Mattresses are important. Not to mention 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 must handle this quickly, and the longer you spend standing in indecision, the closer you inch to a mattress 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, duvets, blankets, 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, not scrub it.

As much as you may not want to get wee on one of your towels, using paper towels on bedding will likely get bits of paper all over the sheet.

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, add as much pressure as possible to soak up the liquid – rather than letting the towel 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 spray bottle is a good way to apply your solution by spraying 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 you’ve put down to help lift the stain from the mattress.

How does this work? The acidic vinegar breaks down the bicarb and 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 have a clean mattress that is free of odour.

If not, you may have to repeat the process.

You may still be left with a 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 as you repeat the process.

Alternatively, if you are unhappy leaving a faint stain or would rather trust the stain removal experts, call ServiceMaster Clean from our ServiceMaster brand family.

See how Merry Maids can help.

Or, for a regular deep clean of your whole home, contact your local Merry Maids.

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 book your free, no-obligation quote by finding your nearest Merry Maids business today.

Dementia conscious trick-or-treating tips for Halloween

Top tips to celebrate Halloween safely and considerately as dementia friends.

Happy Halloween!

Whilst this holiday is fun for many, for some, it could be a nightmare come true.

Around 900,000 people in the UK are estimated to be living with dementia.

For these people, Halloween can be a scary time.

What may seem innocent and harmless to us, like a scary costume or group of trick-or-treaters, can feel threatening to people with dementia, as Halloween exists outside of their known daily routine.

At Merry Maids UK, we are certified Dementia Friends, as many of our businesses work with members of the public who suffer from the condition and work hard to ensure they are cared for properly and confidently as we clean their homes.

This year, we raised £4,000 for Alzheimer’s Society as part of our Forget Me Knot Challenge.

Year-round, we work hard to keep our customers safe and cared for.

To help safeguard the vulnerable members of our community during Halloween, we’ve compiled some tips to help you trick-or-treat consciously and safely.

How trick or treating can affect those with dementia

Dementia is often disorientating, which can be scary enough in itself.

Now add scary masks, giant spiders, carved pumpkins, and cobweb decorations, and suddenly, the world is a very frightening place.

If you add unknown house visitors in costumes, regularly high levels of concern and fear can skyrocket.

How to trick or treat dementia-consciously

  • Try not to frighten vulnerable people and remain mindful of others whilst trick or treating.
  • Ensure children are supervised by an adult while trick-or-treating.
  • Do not trick-or-treat elderly members of the community – unless prearranged.
  • Ensure elderly relatives who live alone are accompanied by another adult during the evening.
  • Do not knock on doors with an anti-trick or treating sign. Homes that wish to be visited by trick-or-treaters put out decorations, lights, or pumpkins.

As an alternative, you could also forgo trick-or-treating and plan a spooktacular Halloween party to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Become a Dementia Friend

Being conscious of the vulnerable members of your community is vital all year round.

Particularly during holidays and events like Halloween, we should all take precautions where possible so everyone can stay safe and have fun.

To learn more about how to be a friend to the vulnerable members of your community living with dementia and turn information into action, join us in becoming a dementia friend today.

How Merry Maids helps those in need of specialist care

For people living with conditions that affect their physical and mental health, keeping up with day-to-day tasks like cleaning can be a real hardship.

For people with dementia, seeing a friendly and familiar face who helps out regularly can make a huge difference.

At Merry Maids, we work hard to support our customers with whatever they need.

Be it a deep cleaning, regular tidy-up, or just having someone to talk to.

To learn more about how we can help you or a loved one, find your nearest Merry Maids business to book a clean online or 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.

Merry Maids UK’s essential pre-holiday home cleaning and safety checklist

Come back from your holiday to a lovely, clean, and organised home.

The one thing worse than coming home after a perfect summer holiday is returning to a house full of mess.

So, before your leave for a well-deserved break, your home should be clean, organised and secure.

At Merry Maids UK, we’re experts in home cleaning – it’s what we do.

Following these steps from our experts before you leave means you can enjoy peace of mind knowing everything is in order while you’re away.

1.   Declutter and Organise

To start your pre-holiday cleaning schedule, declutter and organise your home. Clear sideboards, put away items that usually live in drawers or cupboards, and tidy up each room.

2.   Give the kitchen a deep clean

No matter your idea of a perfect homecoming, we know it doesn’t involve a stinky fridge.

Ensure you dispose of any perishable items, and give the surfaces a good wipe-down.

The first thing you do when you get home from a holiday isn’t the washing up, so pop the dishwasher on to ensure you have clean cutlery and dishes ready for your return.

Empty the general and recycling bins to prevent unpleasant odours and unwanted guests while you’re away.

3.   Clean and put away your washing

Make sure you do a load of washing before you head off to ensure you don’t come home to a pile of dirty laundry, as you’ll already have all your holiday clothes that need to be cleaned upon your return.

Put some clean sheets on the bed as well, as there’s nothing better than returning home from a late flight and getting into a bed with nice clean sheets!

4.   Dust and vacuum

Dust all surfaces, including furniture, shelving, and blinds, to eliminate build-up.

Vacuum your whole house from top to bottom to remove dirt and debris, as you don’t want to be doing this upon your arrival.

5.   Bathroom Cleaning

Scrub a dub, dub the tub, the toilet and the shower, clean the sink, and any countertops and give the floor a clean.

Put out clean towels ready for use when you’re back.

6.   Secure your home

Check that all windows and doors are securely locked before leaving, and consider installing timers for lights or using smart home devices to create the illusion of someone being home.

Set your security alarm before leaving the house.

This will give you peace of mind while you’re on your holiday.

7.   Notify those you trust

Make sure you inform your trusted neighbours or friends about your holiday plans.

Provide them with your contact information if they haven’t already got it, and ask them to keep an eye on your home while you’re away.

8.   Save energy

Unplug non-essential appliances and electronics to reduce energy consumption and protect against power surges.

Make sure your TVs are turned off and not on standby as, according to Uswitch, switching off your TV when not in use will do more to reduce energy usage than anything else.

9.   Call in the cleaning experts

Our teams of maids can be trusted to keep your home clean while you’re away and give you that little bit of extra peace of mind knowing that your home is being checked on while you’re away.

Whether you need assistance with a one-off deep clean or regular cleaning, you can rely on your nearest Merry Maids business.

Call 0800 021 3072 to learn more, or book online in select locations.

5 Cleaning tips for hot weather

How to clean the house while staying cool.

With June set to be the hottest on record and the rest of the summer looking to follow suit, this weather can make cleaning tasks more challenging.

The Merry Maids team wanted to share some valuable cleaning tips to help you with chores while staying comfortable in the hot weather.

Plan Your Cleaning Schedule

Plan your cleaning tasks to avoid strenuous activity during peak heat.

Schedule your cleaning sessions in the early morning or late evening when the temperatures are cooler to make the process more bearable and prevent excessive exhaustion.

Open Windows for Natural Ventilation

Take advantage of cooler mornings and evenings by opening windows to let in the fresh air and create natural cross ventilation.

However, avoid opening your windows during the hottest part of the day to prevent hot air from entering.

Efficient airflow can help eliminate stuffiness and any odours lingering in your home.

Stay Hydrated and Take Breaks

Cleaning in the hot weather can be physically demanding.

So, it’s vital to stay hydrated. Keep a glass or bottle of water nearby and take regular breaks to cool down.

Use Lightweight Cleaning Tools

Use lightweight and ergonomic cleaning tools that won’t add any unnecessary strain. Use highly absorbent microfibre cloths to clean surfaces with less effort.

Use lightweight mops and vacuum cleaners.

These are easier to manoeuvre, allowing you to clean without feeling overwhelmed by the heat.

Merry Maids Can Clean for You

You may want to get the professionals in to do it instead, and that’s ok, as we know how overwhelming it can be to handle cleaning tasks on your own in warm weather.

Merry Maids UK offers fully bespoke cleaning solutions to fit your summer schedule.

So, you can enjoy your summer without worrying about cleaning, giving you more time to spend at family barbecues and going on your holidays!

Whether you need assistance with a one-off deep clean or regular cleaning, you can rely on your nearest Merry Maids business.

Call 0800 021 3072 to learn more, or book online in select locations today.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Christmas Cleaning

Even though Christmas is the same time every year, it always feels like it suddenly appears and you’re completely unprepared!

With so much to think about, cleaning at Christmas can become overwhelming quite quickly. At Merry Maids, we know cleaning, it’s what we do. That’s why we’ve put together our list of Dos and Don’ts for cleaning ahead of this festive season.

The Do’s

Plan Ahead

Having a plan of action can make all the difference in your Christmas cleaning routine, including taking the stress out of the process, because you’re not rushing around at the last minute.

Focus on Organisation

Before you can concentrate on your Christmas cleaning, you’ll need to make sure your home is organised. This includes removing any clutter in the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and other storage areas.

A lot of great home organisation solutions can be found online, too, for an extra helping hand.

Once the organisation is sorted, you can get going with your cleaning checklist accordingly.

Remember, decluttering your home will make your space feel airier and cleaning a lot easier.

Start Simple

With Christmas cleaning, you want to keep it as simple as possible. Start with the simple tasks first and work your way up to the more complicated and involved cleaning. For instance, begin with the bathroom, although it’s one of the dirtiest places in your home, it’s also one of the most straightforward.

First, clean the bathtub, toilet and sink(s). Then, you can move on to cleaning the surfaces like mirrors, cabinets and the floor. Last but not least, remove bathmats and shower curtains to throw in the washing machine.

Dust First, Vacuum Last

Have you ever vacuumed first and then gone on to dusting? Well, you’re doing it wrong! Vacuuming should be one of the last things you do, as it wouldn’t make much sense to then wipe the dust on your nice clean flooring.

The Don’ts

Don’t Rush Cleaning

We know that cleaning isn’t really anyone’s favourite thing to do, but it’s worth taking your time, as you might:

  • Miss areas and leave dirt and germs
  • Create more work for yourself
  • Use the wrong products and damage surfaces
  • Complete cleaning last minute

So, plan ahead, or turn to a professional cleaning team like your nearest Merry Maids business to support you.

Don’t Clean Alone

As the saying goes: “Teamwork makes the dream work!”

We suggest recruiting the whole family to help. Not only will you get the job done faster, but you and your family will also have a greater sense of pride, knowing you worked as a team to clean your home ready for Christmas.

Don’t Ignore Hidden Areas

Look at tackling your cupboards and cabinets as well, as these usually get missed and may be dirtier than you think.

Don’t Neglect Appliances

With constant use comes wear and tear, meaning your kitchen and washing appliances need TLC every so often.

Don’t avoid cleaning the inside and outside of your fridge, oven, stove, microwave, washing machine, etc. When the Christmas holidays arrive, you’ll be thankful you took care of these major appliances before your guests arrive.

Need Help with Your Christmas Cleaning?

With under a month to go until the Christmas holidays start, you may be thinking you just haven’t got time to fit all of this cleaning in.

That’s where Merry Maids come in!

To find out more about how we can help, find your nearest Merry Maids business to book a cleaning online or give us a call today on 0800 021 3072.

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.

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 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.

Earth Day is today, a global initiative that’s all about raising awareness and making changes to help take care of our home planet.

To celebrate Earth Day, Merry Maids UK has put together a list of our top tips to save energy and make your washing habits a bit more eco-friendly.

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. Use 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.