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Merry Maids are in Leicester!

Meet the owner of the brand-new Merry Maids business in Leicester.

Need a cleaner in Leicester?

Merry Maids has expanded into Leicester and the surrounding areas under the expert supervision of Rachel Mullaney.

We sat down with Rachel to chat about how her experience working for Merry Maids’ franchisor, ServiceMaster Ltd, has informed her expert leadership and cleaning services.

About Rachel Mullaney

Rachel has opened her brand-new Merry Maids business after working for ServiceMaster Ltd. as a Contact Centre Manager since 2022.

In this role, she became accustomed to the Merry Maids brand, its processes and what it takes to run a thriving home cleaning business.

Now, with the support of ServiceMaster and operating out of their head office in Leicester, Rachel is bringing Merry Maids’ trademark cleaning excellence to the area like never before!

What Merry Maids can do for you

Whether customers need a:

Rachel and her team of professional cleaning experts will be on hand to handle the cleaning so they can focus on what matters most to them.

Rachel says she is thrilled to be opening Merry Maids Leicester and for what the future brings:

“I am really excited to have been given the opportunity to start Merry Maids Leicester. I can’t wait to get out into the Leicestershire area, show them what Merry Maids is made of and deliver the exceptional service that sets us out from the rest.”

Vikki Donnachie, Merry Maids Brand Leader, adds:

“I’m very excited to be launching Leicester. Rachel and the team are very motivated and excited to be able to trial new initiatives through our company-owned location before rolling them out to the rest of the network. Good things are coming in Leicester!”

Need a cleaner in Leicester?

If you’re in Leicester and the surrounding areas and would benefit from professional cleaning services from a worldwide industry leader of over 30 years, delivered by local professionals, contact Rachel and her team on 0116 275 9055 or book online.

Or, nationwide, find your nearest Merry Maids business now to see how we can help you 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.

Care in the community: Charity Initiatives from Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington

How Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington support their community through charity engagement. 

Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington’s Office Supervisor, Jo, has been with the company for several years, beginning as a cleaner.

She uses her position to combine her passion for the community and background in care to support local and national charities.

Jo’s Background

Jo worked in care for eight years, running care homes and fundraising regularly through sponsored activities and events.

These have included mental health and dementia campaigns and a brain tumour charity.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Jo returned to Merry Maids, having worked with us as a cleaner before her time in care.

In joining Merry Maids, Jo joined a business that enables her to use her natural affinity for providing personalised care through professional and bespoke home cleaning services.

Recent Charity Work at Merry Maids

In April, Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington donated Easter eggs and chocolate to Dandelion Time, a local charity that supports children who have experienced hardship and traumatic events.

But that’s not all they’ve been up to.

Recently, Jo has been getting active and supporting charities close to her heart while at Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington.

“In February this year, I did 10,000 steps [daily] for Brain Tumour Research. And then I did 30 miles in September for dementia charities,” she says.

Her other recent activities have again supported the brain tumour and mental health charities.

Jo also completed a Memory Walk for Alzheimer’s Society, a charity that is close to all of our teams at Merry Maids UK and Jo, whose mother-in-law sadly suffered from the disease.

She estimates that she has raised £1500 from her recent efforts.

Upcoming Charity Work with Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington

Looking to the future, Jo has some ambitious charity plans for the new year.

Alongside more active fundraising for dementia and mental health charities, she is organising a charity initiative with her son to give out Christmas presents to local children in need.

Furthermore, Merry Maids Bromley will donate an afternoon tea to Southmore Court Assisted Living, one of their regular cleaning clients.

Jo says she is always looking to push her contributions and do more for the people in the local community:

“Me, myself, I want to do more volunteer work in the lines with dementia, like volunteer, maybe afternoon or a couple of hours here and there. I really like doing it,” she says.

“For my birthday, I’ve put something up for anyone to donate to Alzheimer’s instead of getting me giving me a present. And that’s what I’ll do for Christmas as well. We do cancer one, me and my friends. We don’t buy each other cards, but donate to Cancer Research.”

Want to see the value of a cleaner who cares?

If you or someone you know would benefit from a professional and compassionate home cleaning service from Merry Maids UK, find your nearest Merry Maids business today.

To schedule a visit from Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington, book online or call 01689 830000 for a free quote for our bespoke and professional home cleaning services.

From one-off deep cleans to regular visits and spring cleaning, we do the cleaning so you don’t have to.

Merry Maids Relaunches in Northampton under brand new ownership

(Re)introducing Merry Maids Northampton, bringing brand new and improved cleaning to Northampton and the surrounding areas like never before.

Merry Maids Northampton has reopened this week under the management of franchisor ServiceMaster Ltd.

We spoke to Office Manager Becky Gardner about the changes to the business and what customers, new and old, can expect from the new and improved Merry Maids Northampton.

Northampton, a history

Merry Maids Northampton has been operating for 18 years.

Previously under the ownership of Barbara and Martin Smart, the business faced hard times during the COVID-19 pandemic when it was forced to close as lockdowns threatened the retirement plans of its owners.

This year, the business has come under the management of Merry Maids’ franchisor, ServiceMaster Ltd.

Becky started as a part-time cleaner in 2011, “which worked wonders for me with the two young children,” she says.

“It was a perfect job. And I loved cleaning. I took pride in cleaning. It’s always been nice to go into a customer’s house and make it all nice.”

She became an Office Manager when Barbara and Martin retired and is being supported in the reopening by the ServiceMaster team, including Merry Maids Brand Leader Vikki Donnachie.

“One day, my old boss called me into the office and said she needed an Office Manager to take over the day-to-day role of going out, doing quotes, seeing off the girls, sorting out the bays and the folders.”

“Vikki has been amazing. She’s been there every step of the way. It’s been useful to have that support.”

Changes and Transformation

Under Becky and Vikki’s supervision, Merry Maids Northampton has transformed, moving from a small unit to a brand-new office unit alongside ServiceMaster’s Northampton-based contract cleaning franchise.

“At first, it was scary, but we’re fully operating from the new unit now. We absolutely love it. The girls are so happy!

We’ve just rolled with it. The girls have been amazing. We all get on really well. They’ve supported me, and I them.”

Aspirations and Assurances

Becky and Vikki have big plans for the business.

“I just want it to grow and get bigger and bigger,” says Becky.

“We’ve got loyal customers. I want to build from that to get more customers, get more staff in and build Merry Maids to as big as we possibly can.”

We’ve got the space now. We’ve got the unit, we’ve got the facilities, we’ve got it all now. It’s just growing and making it as best as we can make it. Which I’m excited about!”

Vikki adds:

“I’m delighted to reintroduce Merry Maids Northampton into the Merry Maids franchise network under the ownership of ServiceMaster. Becky and the team have embraced the transition brilliantly, so I’m very excited to see their growth in driving the business to new heights while delivering the trademark Merry Maids service to the community.”

To those loyal customers, Becky says:

“Thank you for continuing to let us clean your homes. We did lose a lot of customers through COVID, but we also have a lot of loyal customers who stayed with us, and getting their feedback from cleans is always lovely.”

To new customers, Merry Maids Northampton provides satisfaction, a spotless home, and time that would’ve otherwise been spent cleaning.

“Our goal is to make the customer happy, and their home is done exactly how they want it.”

“Hence, we come out to quote for the cleaning in the first place, so we can get an idea of what the customer wants to do in their home and then make sure that we follow the instructions and just make them happy.”

Speaking with experience as a cleaner, Becky adds:

“I love going into a customer’s home, and I prefer the ones that are a bit messy because once you’ve done it and then close that door, you just know when they open it, it’s going to be all nice and clean and won’t have to worry about anything. It’s all done. They can relax and enjoy their evening.”

See how Merry Maids Northampton can help you

If you are in Northampton or the surrounding areas and would benefit from a professional and bespoke home cleaning service carried out by trained and fully insured professionals, or if you would like to work for a cleaning business that provides a high standard of service as part of a friendly and professional team, call 0845 7626 828 today to see how we can help you today.

To benefit from Merry Maids services nationwide, find your nearest Merry Maids business or book online now.

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.

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

Moving home cleaning tips

Moving home is exciting, but it’s also one of life’s major stress triggers due to all the work that has to be done in a short timeframe.

While it’s likely impossible that you’ll never enjoy moving home, there are several ways in which you can make the process easier on yourself and those you live with.

1. Create a Schedule

Packing up and cleaning your home is a big task, so it’s important to plan properly. That means mapping out your time well in advance. In addition to your actual move-out date, set deadlines for specific tasks, such as packing up the spare bedroom or cleaning out your fridge. Be certain to leave yourself as much wiggle room as is feasible: The goal is to get as much move-out cleaning done ahead of time while still having access to the comforts and necessities you need until you move to your new home.

2. Pack and Clean in Zones

Make sure you concentrate on one space at a time by setting cleaning and packing zones in your house. Make a list or draw a map of your home and number the rooms or areas in the order you want to tackle them. For example, list spare rooms or guest bathrooms first as these spots can be packed without changing your daily routines. Remember to clean as you go, taking the time to wipe down books, lamps and other items before putting them away. If you won’t be using a move-out cleaning service, you’ll want to work from the top (cleaning cobwebs, ceiling fans and light fixtures) to the bottom (vacuuming, washing floors and wiping skirting boards) in each room.

3. Embrace the Opportunity to De-clutter

As you’ll literally be going through every room in your home, a move-out cleaning is the perfect time to get rid of anything you don’t want or need anymore, be ruthless as it leaves you with fewer boxes to move! Place a few empty boxes around your house and fill them with those items you haven’t used in months or the clothes that you forgot you owned until you started packing up your closet. Once they’re full, donate them or sell them at a local car boot sale. Additionally, go through paperwork and the ‘man drawer’ (you know the one we mean) and toss out any anything that may be lying around you don’t need anymore.

4. Enlist Some Help

Packing is a much less daunting task if you have some extra hands and pleasant conversation, sticking to social distancing guidelines of course. Clearly, you might not want their help packing some of your more personal belongings, but a little assistance boxing up books, baking utensils or seasonal items in your garage can make a huge difference in your move-out cleaning.

5. Bring in the Professionals

Your time will likely be limited, especially if you’re a renter, and you can’t unload your moving truck and clean your house at the same time. Take the stress away and contact your local Merry Maids to see what home or apartment move-out cleaning services they offer. That way, you can focus on carrying those boxes, while housekeeping professionals take care of cleaning your former home, saving you time and — if you’re a renter — ensuring you don’t have to pay any clean-up fees from your security deposit.

Where there’s a move-out, there’s usually a move-in. If you need your new place spruced up a bit, you can always contact your local Merry Maids in regards to that as well.