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16 August 2017

 

Oven Cleaning for Newbies

Did you know that cleaning your oven reduces the risks of possible hazards in your home? Cleaning ovens can be time-consuming, unpleasant and a tricky task to do, as it always involves chemicals and lots of grease at the elbow. However, failing to clean an oven could cause serious problems. Take the foods that inevitably get spilt in your oven. When they’re left over there, they will be burn or even in a very worst case, catch fire. Also, whatever you put inside the oven can give unkind smoky taste. That’s why it is very important that you should know on how to properly clean your oven.

Finding the best and easiest ways on how to clean your oven may be difficult, and this is especially true to the newbies. But, now you don’t need to worry, as the following things can help you to clean your oven in your homes. Here are the best and easy ways to clean oven for newbies:

How to Clean an Oven the Easiest Way

What you’ll need:               

·         Baking dish

·         Ammonia

·         Dish soap

·         Water

·         Cleaning gloves

·         Sponge or scrubbing pad

Directions:

Step 1. Preparation

Begin the cleaning process by pre-heating the oven to about 150-degress F or about 65 degrees Celsius, and while it’s heating, place the pot-of-water on the stovetop then take it to the boil. Once it has already reached the 150-degrees or 65 degrees Celsius , you can turn off the oven. Pour one cup of ammonia in the baking dish, and then put the dish at the top of the oven. Lastly, put the boiling water at the bottom of the oven then close your oven door.

Step 2. Wait

You should give the hot water and ammonia several hours for them to work their magic in your oven. Well, the best and most convenient time to do that is before going to bed, allow it to sit overnight. You will not only help yourself to save more time, but also provide enough time for the hot water and ammonia to thoroughly clean the inside parts of your oven.

Step 3. Empty your Oven

Open the oven, and then remove the pot of water and ammonia. Do not dispose of the ammonia, as you would want to make use of it later. Remove the oven rack, and leave it open enough to air for about fifteen minutes. Then;

Step 4. Scrub

It is now time to do the scrubbing since the ammonia has already done its work inside your oven. You can add one to two teaspoons of the ammonia and dish soap along with the warm water, make sure you wear cleaning gloves then start scrubbing it using the scrubbing pad or a sponge.

Dip it in the mixture of ammonia and use your scrubbing pad as well in wiping away the greased that has been already softened by the ammonia-mix overnight.

If you are a newbie or just learning to clean your oven at home, you can try these simple steps above and you’ll be on your way to a spick and span oven in no time.



10 August 2017

10 Clever Cleaning Tips Every Clean Freak Needs to Know

There’s no more exasperating than coming home from work to a chaotic and messy home. After a busy day at work or school, you want to relax in a clean, heavenly home. While it is true that a clean home can be a sign of a healthy lifestyle, cleaning can be a very time-consuming and tedious task. Of course, you want to feel great about your home, but if you do not have at least four to eight hours per week to do a thorough cleaning, this might seem to be a little challenging to achieve.

Fortunately, we’ve found ten brilliant cleaning tips to make your life a lot easier. If you are one of those clean freak moms or individuals, you better continue reading.

1.       Spotless Cleaning of your Blinds

Don’t mind the vacuum attachment, prepare an old but clean cloth, water and vinegar instead. Mix water and vinegar in a small bucket. Take the cloth and dip it into the mixture. Wipe down every individual slat, and use another cloth to dry the blinds off. This is also a fantastic way to reuse those old cloths at home, like socks with holes, instead of throwing them away.

2.       Shine Up those Greasy Grates on the Stove

Forget about scrubbing to clean grates on your stove. Just soak them with little ammonia overnight, and it will do the trick for you.

3.       Cleaning your Toaster

So, your toaster got all greasy and sticky. You just need a cream of tartar, a sponge and a few drops of water to get it looking brand-new again.

4.       Making your Kitchen Sink and Disposal Spotless

Wipe the faucets and handles using a mild soapy solution. Get an old toothbrush and use it to get in the areas that are hard to reach. If you see remaining spots, use a cloth soaked in white vinegar to completely eliminate them. When you are finished, rinse it again thoroughly and dry using a soft rag.

5.       Cleaning your Fan Blades Without Dusty Mess Everywhere

You want to clean your fan blades, but you hate a dusty mess all over the place. You can avoid this by cleaning them using a pillow case.

6.       Your Kitchen Table Deserves some Cleaning too!

Your kitchen table is one of the most important pieces of your kitchen, but it can be a commonly overlooked area to clean. Using your vacuum, suck up the dirt and clean it with your favorite cleaner. Regardless of the size of your kitchen table, it doesn’t take that long to clean it entirely.

7.       Efficiently Scrub those Crevices and Hard-to-reach Areas

Buy a one-dollar to five-dollar electronic toothbrush at a discount store, and you can now add a modern twist to your routine cleaning. The rapid vibration of the toothbrush will scrub out any stubborn dirt immediately. Use the long handle to get to those hard-to-reach areas without having the annoying elbow grease.

8.       A Perfect Tip to Clean your Windowsills

Get a garden sprayer to clean any hard-to-reach spots at home, including your windowsills. Your garden sprayer can be a good mini power washer to eliminate dirt on these areas. Just make sure to clean the sprayer thoroughly before filling the tank with water to flush out any chemical residues.

9.       The Tile Grout

Tired of the annoying tile grout in your shower room? Cleaning it doesn’t have to be too complicated and expensive. Just mix ¾ cups of baking soda with ¼ cup of bleach to make a thick paste. With the use of a brush or an old toothbrush, apply the mixture or paste to the dirty tile grout and let sit for ten minutes. Then, work the cleaner even deeper into the group using the brush. Let it sit for another five to ten minutes then rinse. When the grout has dried completely, you will surely be stunned with the efficiency of this cleaning tip.

10.   Restore the Beauty of your Cabinet by Removing all Dirt Naturally

Cleaning gunky cabinets is made easy and all-natural with a simple trick. Mix one part vegetable oil with two parts baking soda. Use a spoon to mix the ingredients together. Using an old toothbrush, a sponge or just your hands, work the cleaner into the cabinet doors. You will certainly be surprised how effective this cleaning tip is in restoring the beauty of your cabinet.

Whether you don’t have time to do a complete home cleaning or you just really hate cleaning, these tips can make the entire process quick, simple and easy. Try these clever cleaning tips to have a dirt-free and more inviting home.

26 January 2017

The Best Methods For Cleaning Your Home As Quickly As Possible

Like any chore, ironing, cooking or in-home repair, cleaning can be something we all avoid. It's time consuming, often a hassle and with an increased want for leisure time, surely there are ways you can speed up the process to get the most of your time whilst maintaining a clean, hygienic home.

The lovely ladies at Maidforyou have developed the essential guide to cleaning your home as quickly as possible. Here are some excerpts from that guide.

Develop Your Own System And Stick To It 

Our teams highly recommend developing a system that works for you and your capabilities and sticking to it. No guide would be perfectly suited for any one person. By doing this, you will be able to master the way you clean your home in the quickest possible time. We recommend separating the house or apartment into individual rooms and areas and ticking them off a list as you do them. In doing this, you will be sure that no area is missed, all the while cleaning your home in a highly methodical manner. This is by far the most efficient way to clean your abode. 

Make Sure To Get All Areas

Most people when cleaning their homes clean very close to their eye level or lower. It's easier, makes the house seem clean (even though it may not be) and creates the illusion that they have cleaned their home in an efficient manner. This is a common mistake made by people who are not professionals. Even though they have cleaned below their eye levels, their home will still not be clean and it makes it that much more difficult when it comes time for the dreaded spring clean. The system we use at Maidforyou is to start at the highest place to reach and work your way downwards. In doing this you will be sure to cover all areas in as quick a time as possible. 

Hold Your Equipment And Tools As Close As Possible

Our teams use a cleaning belt, which they use to keep their chemicals and equipment on hand. They use this method of efficiency to make sure they don't need to continue changing rooms to collect chemicals left over. In a similar vain to how police officers have a belt for their tools of the trade, our cleaners, the best cleaners in Sydney keep their tools of the trade close to them. This also allows for cleaning to be completed methodically. We have different chemicals for each room (Bathroom, Kitchen Rumpus room etc) and keeping them close keeps away confusion.

The key to efficient cleaning whilst remaining thorough and meticulous is to develop a routine, make sure to get all areas, top to bottom and keep your chemicals and equipment as close as possible. If you really value your time, you can always book the best home cleaners in Sydney

 

30 September 2016

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Effective Spring Cleaning
 

We know our average reader doesn't have much time to do their own spring cleaning. That's why they come to us. We surveyed 50 of our customers, they're all based in Sydney. We asked if you could have more time to do things for yourself, what household tasks would you eliminate?

Overwhelmingly, our clients wanted to spend less time on the dirtier tasks, ridding their homes of mould, organizing and keeping their homes tidy were some of the tasks that were most hated. After receiving this feedback, we decided that it was time to make the ultimate cheat sheet for spring cleaning, so here it is. 

Motivate Yourself 

Spring cleaning can be seen as an arduous task, most don't want to even consider starting (that's why they hire the professionals). Change that mindset, think of how decluttered your home and ultimately your mind will be after the hard work is done. 

Pick A Time and Date

Tying into motivating yourself, you need to pick a time and date and stick to it, no postponing. The procrastinator always gets left behind, don't be that guy. Go to your local supermarket and buy all the products that are needed for your clean, the day before and clear your whole calendar that day, you're going to need to.  

Use Your Cleaning Products Correctly!

Please, don't be that person that sprays disinfectant and then wipes it right off, you're defeating the purpose. The instructions at the back of each bottle, reflect the best way to use the product. In doing so, you'll get the best out of your home cleaning and you'll be using less elbow grease, saving you time and money. 

Get Someone To Help

When cleaning we discuss time periods in man hours. The more people, the less time used, cleaning by yourself can be an extremely daunting task, get someone to help you and share the load. If you're unable to find someone in the Sydney metropolitan area to share the load, the quickest way to spring clean your home is to delegate tasks by rooms. 

Separate The Work Into Categories

If you want to get your spring cleaning out of the way in the most efficient way possible, separate the workload into room categories. Start with areas that need to be mopped and vacuumed, then move to carpeted areas and finally clean the perimeter baseboards of your home (also known as the skirting boards). 

In doing this, you'll be able to dedicate sufficient time to each area and not be weighed down lugging heavy equipment throughout your home.

Reward Yourself

Get ready to reward yourself after you're done. Like most, you're motivated by a reward system. You'll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel if you can reward yourself for example by eating at the famous Sydney Bondi Ice Bergs or treating yourself to a night out, only after the cleaning is done of course. 

Following these helpful hints and tips will increase the efficiency of your spring cleaning and prevent you from having to hire the professionals. However, if you value your time more than you do the money it would cost to have your home spring cleaned. You can always book your spring cleaning now

For more helpful hints and tips, check out this youtube video



 



22 June 2016

How To Keep Your Carpets Clean And Vibrant


A fresh new carpet is a thing of beauty: Plush, welcoming, and soft underfoot, it adds a cozy and luxurious touch to any home. Alas, if a carpet is not properly cared for, this luster soon fades; a carpet that is not kept clean and maintained becomes both unsightly and a haven for bacteria and allergens. 

To keep your carpet looking, feeling, and smelling like new, you should:

1. Vacuum the carpet throughout your home at least once a week, and vacuum areas of high traffic every few days. If you whisk away surface dirt before it has a chance to get worked deep down into the carpet pile, you will both prevent allergens and bacteria from quickly accumulating and preserve the carpet's appearance. Not only does dirt dim the look of carpets, its abrasive particles actually damage the fibers of the carpet so that they slowly lose their sheen and plush character. 

2. Practice proper vacuuming technique. Many people rush through the job of vacuuming, making just a few quick passes over an area before moving on, but this is usually not sufficient to remove much of the dirt embedded just below the surface. As such, when you vacuum, you should take your time, working slowly in a criss-cross pattern while making multiple passes over each section of carpet. Likewise, each pass should be made from a different angle to truly penetrate the carpet fiber and lift dirt.

3. Freshen up your carpet with a dry cleaning powder at least once per month. Whether you choose to use a natural product like bicarbonate soda or purchase a powdered chemical carpet cleaner is up to you, but either way, applying a dry powder cleaner to your carpet (and letting it sit the correct amount of time before removal) at least once a month is important. Powder cleaners can absorb grease and other stains, cleansing the carpet while also deodorizing it. 

4. Have your carpet professionally “steam cleaned” twice a year (we use carpet kings). No matter how diligent you are about vacuuming and powdering your carpet, a certain amount of dirt will manage to find its way below the surface of the carpet and nestle where vacuums cannot reach it. To prevent this dirt from leading to damage and bacteria growth, call in a professional to perform a hot water extraction (aka “steam”) cleaning. Professional carpet cleaners have access to superior, commercial-grade carpet cleaning machines which inject extremely hot water deep into the carpet's pile, flushing out dirt and bacteria before sucking away the soiled water and leaving an incredibly fresh, restored-looking carpet behind. 

19 June 2016

A Guide To Cleaning Hardwood Floors

 Hardwood floors are one of the true classics of interior design: Beautiful and durable, with the proper care, they can easily last a lifetime. To remain in peak condition, hardwood floors need to be cleaned regularly, however; not only are they less forgiving than carpet (dirt is more visible against their sheen), if rough dirt particles are frequently tracked across them, the lustre of the floors may dim over time, leading to the need for costly maintenance work.

 Effectively cleaning hardwood floors, experts say, is all about getting into a routine; once you have made the cleaning regimen a habit, it will come naturally to you, and your floors will look pristine as a result. Your cleaning schedule should be organised as follows:

Daily Cleaning

 Dust your floors with a fine microfibre mop or cloth to remove harmful gritty particles, allergens, and unsightly dust, making sure to work in long, smooth motions without lifting the mop or cloth from the floor during passes. Note that while you can also use a broom, the static pull microfibre exerts over dirt and dust provides a much more effective and efficient way to remove surface soil from your hardwood floors.

Weekly Cleaning

 Though daily dusting will help to prevent damage to your hardwood floor as a result of hard particles being ground into its polished surface, you will still need to perform a “deep clean” each week to remove dirt and grime from hard-to-reach corners. You should vacuum lightly (for best results, use an attachment that will not put any hard edges into contact with the floor), then mist the floor with a hardwood cleaner (never use water) before mopping it down carefully but thoroughly.

Monthly Cleaning

 At least once every few months you should take the time to polish your hardwood floors to refresh and renew their finish; not only does this ensure that your floors retain that “brand new” look, it also helps to protect them from damage.

Long-Term Care

 In addition to performing the cleaning tasks described above, you should consider having your hardwood floors professionally sanded and refinished once every 3-5 years. This will repair any scratches or gouges your floor has accrued during daily use and keep the actual wood that lies beneath the polished surface safeguarded.

 Finally, it's important to remember that you should never use common “green” cleaners like vinegar and water on your hardwood floor, nor should you use soap-based cleaners, wax, or steam cleaners; all of these have the potential to warp the water-sensitive wood below. Vinegar is also notorious for dulling the sheen that makes hardwood floors so attractive.

 To really extend the life of your floors, consider installing protective mats in areas of high traffic: While it means there will be more to clean each week, this is the most foolproof strategy to guard your floors against scratches, gouges, spills, and other sources of damage.

17 May 2016

The 4 Best Ways To Speed Up The Cleaning Process


 If you would love to have a clean house, but feel like you just don't have the time, you're not alone: A lack of time to fit cleaning in around work, family, friends, and other daily chores is the number-one most cited reason for having a dirty house. 

 The problem, however, often actually lies in the way we perceive cleaning: Most of us see it as a monumental task requiring hours of focussed concentration, and as such, we feel like we can't squeeze it in. If you're stuck in this rut, the speed cleaning tips below should help to change your mind—with a bit of planning, you can make the job of cleaning flow effortlessly with the rest of your lifestyle:

1. Make cleaning a household effort.

 The best way to speed up cleaning is to stop messes before they can truly get started. To that end, you should devise a number of tidiness “best practices” for you and your family to adhere to. Children and adults alike should return items to their proper places immediately after use (and there should be a place for everything—make extensive use of labelled bins and baskets!) and have a list of chores to attend to, e.g. tiding rooms, loading and unloading the dishwasher, dusting, etc. Between having clutter under control and outsourcing smaller jobs, you can cut your cleaning time in half.

2. Make a habit of “five minute clean-ups”.

  Most of us spend a lot of time waiting—for a friend to call back, for a favourite show to come on, for dinner to cook, and so on—and we all too often fritter away these precious minutes, idling on our phones or computers. Instead of doing this, get into the habit of performing “5 minute clean-ups” whenever you find yourself with a bit of time to kill; you will be amazed at how cleaning suddenly seems to take care of itself. The secret? Most cleaning tasks, when isolated, don't actually take all that long; running a broom over the kitchen floor and a cloth over the counters, for example, can easily be fit into 5 minutes, and loading a dishwasher seldom takes more than 10 minutes.

3. Have your home “deep cleaned” professionally once every few months.

 Even if you can't afford to hire a maid, you should consider calling in a professional to take care of the truly tough and time-consuming parts of cleaning (e.g. carpet and upholstery cleaning) once every 3-6 months (depending on your needs). This will leave you only having to do day-to-day maintenance cleaning, which will shave a lot of time off your cleaning regimen. 

4. Keep your cleaning supplies well-organised and carry them with you.

 Nothing tacks extra minutes onto cleaning like having to look all over the house for a specific product or tool, so you should make sure to keep your cleaning supplies organised properly. It's also a good idea to carry everything you need in a single basket with you as you move from room to room so that you don't have to backtrack to pick up supplies as you change jobs. 

15 May 2016

How To Keep Your Electronics Hygienic


    Today, most of us spend the vast majority of our time in front of screens; our devices connect us to the outside world, helps us perform many day-to-day tasks, and provide us with countless hours of entertainment. There's just one small catch—they tend to get filthy in the process, and because many devices are handled by multiple people, they become vehicles for germ transmission. 

 According to multiple studies, computer keyboards and smartphone screens tend to harbour more bacteria, on average, than a toilet seat. Plus, about 18% of mobile phones are contaminated with staphylococcus, says the Journal of Applied Microbiology, and 16% harbour E.coli as well. As online publication Men's Health explains: “Each square inch of your cell phone contains roughly 25,000 germs, making it one of the filthiest things you come in contact with on a daily basis.” Clearly, it's time that we start making device sanitisation a regular practice.

How To Sanitise Your Computer

First, power off the computer, then blast out crumbs and debris from your keyboard with a can of compressed air. After this is complete, wipe the surface of the keys, the screen, and the mouse with an antibacterial wipe. How often you should repeat this process largely depends on how many people use the computer in question; a home computer used by one or two people can be sanitised about once a week, whereas an office computer used by half a dozen people should be sanitised daily.

How To Sanitise Your Mobile Device

 Mobile devices should be sanitised more often than computers (cell phones especially, as they come into daily contact with a person's face, making them an ideal conduit for illness): at least once per day, and ideally a few times per day. 

 To prevent damage to your phone, treat it like you would an LCD screen: Avoid the use of harsh chemicals and never put water into direct contact with sensitive areas like charger ports (even if your phone is a waterproof model, soap and water cleaning is not a good idea; soap will leave residue). Use a “tech friendly” cleaner like iKlear and then wipe the phone down with a glass-safe microfibre cloth. Some antibacterial wipes may also be safe for use with your smartphone or tablet, but make sure to research the brand you want to use to clean your device and verify that it is “tech friendly” first.

 As a final note, it's a good idea to avoid handling any of your electronics while eating or drinking, and to store them in a cool, dry environment to help limit bacterial growth. 

1 May 2016
 

The Best Kid (And Pet) Friendly Cleaning Products


As environmental and personal safety issues rise ever more to the forefront of the public consciousness, how to clean in a way that is “green” and family-friendly is becoming a hotly debated topic: Is it really possible to avoid the use of harmful chemicals while also killing dangerous bacteria? 

 Thanks to advances in research over the last five years, today most experts would answer “Yes” to the above question. And—best of all—it turns out that using products which are safe for children, pets, and the environment can actually save you money: Many of the best green cleaners can be sourced from common household products. 

Some of the best kid and pet-friendly cleaning products are as follows:

•    Chlorine-Free Bleach. Chlorine bleach is the #1 cause of toxic injury to children (who often drink it by mistake), so it's essential to choose a hydroxide-based bleach instead. Look for “chlorine free” on the label of any bleach product you buy. Nature's Child Oxygen Bleach is an excellent choice; not only is it safe, it comes in a powdered form, meaning that pets and children will not be tempted to try to drink it.

•    White Vinegar. Plain white vinegar, when diluted slightly with water, makes an excellent all-purpose disinfecting cleaner for hard surfaces. Use white vinegar to wipe down counter tops, wash the floor, scrub the walls, polish glass, clean out the refrigerator, and sanitise bathroom surfaces. Unlike harsh chemical disinfectants, it will not leave potentially harmful residues on household surfaces (a particular concern in areas where food is prepared).

•    Bicarbonate Soda. Another inexpensive household product, bicarbonate soda is a harmless light abrasive which can be used to scrub tough areas of caked-on dirt or to remove mould from shower grout. It's also an excellent deodouriser; when finely dusted over carpet and upholstery and let sit overnight, then vacuumed up the next day, it will remove pet odours and leave carpets and furniture looking clean and fresh. As such, bicarbonate soda can replace a range of potentially dangerous bathroom cleaning products and be used in place of toxic carpet cleansing powders (which are especially harmful to pets, as animals often lie on the carpet and then groom themselves afterwards). You can even add an open box of bicarbonate soda to your refrigerator to keep food smells to a minimum. 

•    Chemical-free laundry detergent and fabric softener. Though the majority of conventional laundry products are not especially hazardous, if your child has allergies, sensitive skin, or you're simply concerned about him or her being exposed to chemical residues via clothing, you should likely trade in your old brands for plant-based “green” alternatives, such as Earth Choice Ultra Concentrate Laundry Liquid and Earth Choice Ultra Concentrate Fabric Softener.


17 April 2016

Making Sure Your Cleaning Doesn't Effect the Environment

Sydney with it's pristine beauty is arguably the most beautiful city in the world. That's why we want to make sure that our domestic cleaning doesn't effect Sydney's beautiful, pristine, environment, wildlife and waterways. The following are two handy tips on how to make sure your home cleaning isn't affecting Sydney and it's flora and fauna. 

Use eco-friendly products

Products that are eco-friendly aren't harmful for your family, pets or the environment. They contain chemicals that are safe and organic. In doing this, they ensure that whilst cleaning your house, your Sydney home and the surrounding environment won't be subject to harmful chemicals. You can purchase eco-friendly products from home, otherwise when booking online with Sydney's best home cleaning agency you can specifically request for us to use products that are friendly for the environment and your cleaning business will use it in your home free of charge. 

Otherwise you can always make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. Here is a great video on how to save money and time making your own eco-friendly cleaning products. 

Don't wash chemicals down the drain. 

When cleaning in your Sydney home make sure not to put harsh chemicals in drains that have access to our waterways. Instead, store bottles of harsh chemicals utilised in your home and save them for your recycling depot. These are readily available to be found via your local recycling drop off. In doing this you ensure that chemicals are kept out of Sydney waterways and environment. Away from our beautiful native flora and fauna. 

If you're not confident keeping your Sydney home clean without utilising harmful chemicals. You can always have a look at the services we provide and book and schedule in 60 seconds, through our safe and secure online booking form.




14 April 2016

The 5 Best Things To Do In Sydney in Autumn

            Throughout much of the world, autumn is regarded as the golden season in all senses of the word: Neither too hot nor too cold, and with the foliage revealing all of its splendour before falling into a deep winter sleep. In Sydney, autumn is seen as the ideal time to visit the city's attractions not only due to the temperate climate, but also because the city tends to be quieter during these months and food, drink, accommodations, etc. are somewhat cheaper.

Weather: What to Expect

            The Australian autumn, which starts on March 1 and ends on May 31, is comfortably temperate, with temperatures that range from around 15°C (59°F) at night to 22°C (72°F) in the daytime. It's a fairly moist season, averaging from 120mm to 135mm of rain per month. March is the wettest month.

Autumn Activities

            While autumn is more laid-back than summer in Sydney, there's still lots to see and do around this iconic city. The following five attractions are widely considered to be the best things to do in Sydney in autumn:

1. The Saint Patrick's Day Parade. With those of Irish descent making up 10 percent of the Australian population, Saint Patrick's Day in Sydney is a spectacle to behold, involving a parade with drums, bagpipes, and traditional costumes. The parade is typically held on a weekend close to St Patrick's Day (March 17).

2. The Sydney Royal Easter Show (17-30th of March). Held by the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales each year at Easter time, the Sydney Royal Easter Show is a celebration of the best of Australian agriculture, with its massive displays of Australian farm produce, thrilling carnival rides, rodeo events, motorcycle and skateboarding stunts, livestock races, woodchopping competitions, parades, fashion shows, etc.

3. Visit the beaches. In early autumn, the weather in Sydney is often still warm enough for swimming along the eastern shoreline, which is dotted with world-renowned beaches. As the summer crowds have thinned, swimmers often have a more private and relaxing experience in autumn.

4. Take a walking tour of Sydney. The cooler autumn temperatures and cloudier skies mean that one can walk around Sydney for hours without worrying about heat stroke or the perils of too much sun exposure, making this the perfect season to explore the city on foot. Your walking tour should include a visit to The Rocks, the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Hyde Park, Chinatown, and Darling Harbour.

5. Enjoy the Autumn School Holidays events at Sydney's museums. The Australian Museum, the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, and the Powerhouse Museum at Darling Harbour all tend to put on special family-friendly events during the Autumn School Holidays from the 11-26th of April. If you have children, they will surely delight in the opportunity to enjoy events like the Themed Sleepovers at the Australian Museum.


12 April 2016

How to Prepare Your Home to be Insect-Free This Winter

            There's nothing like curling up in one's warm, cozy abode once the cold weather hits; the crackling of the fire, the smell of dinner cooking, and the sound of the icy winds outside all instill feelings of pleasure and security in us. Alas, the same seems to be true for insects; human dwellings tend to beckon to these small eight-legged beings during the winter months, and if homeowners are not careful, they quickly find themselves dealing with a full-on infestation.

            Though completely sealing out these tiny creatures presents a challenge, with a bit of research before hand, prepping your home to be insect-free this winter is possible. To get started, review the strategies outlined below:

  • Make sure to seal up the cracks and crevices of your home with sealant. While cracks in sealant may appear miniscule to our eyes, to insects, they are inviting doorways into our houses—in fact, insects can actually sense the warmth emanating from these cracks from an appreciable distance. As such, any homeowner’s first line of defence involves sealing up even small cracks (paying special attention to the sealant around doors and windows, which tends to buckle as the weather turns colder) with a good-quality silicone sealant.

  • Remove any window air conditioning units and store them. Some people in Australia choose to simply cover their AC units during the winter months, unaware that doing so provides the perfect “insect highway” into their homes. AC units usually create gaps between the unit and the window sill itself, and while most homeowners install insulation to prevent the entry of warm air, this insulation is simply not enough to keep out a determined group of insects. Ergo, you should remove the unit, store it, and close the window tightly as soon as cooler weather hits.

  • Use only “yellow” lights for outdoor lighting. White lights around the home (e.g. white porch lights) are notorious for attracting hordes of insects, and once insects are on the porch or the outside of the house, it's only a short flight in through an open door or window.

  • Apply insecticide outdoors around the perimeter of your home before winter begins. It's usually a good idea to hire a professional to do this as insecticides are often toxic and must be handled with care.

  • Have your home cleaned professionally. A professional cleaner will not only take the time to go through your entire home, removing insect food sources (crumbs, for example) and cleaning out any burrows you have missed, he or she will also know how to spot common insect infiltration points, such as cracks in sealant or in the walls of your home. Additionally, he or she should be able to refer you to a reliable pest control professional should you need one.



11 April 2016 

Vacuum Cleaner Care: Maximising the Lifespan of Your Vacuum

            A vacuum cleaner represents a substantial investment, particularly if you choose one of the high-powered models available on the market today. Naturally, most vacuum owners therefore want to see these essential cleaning tools last as long as possible.

            Like all machines with complex moving parts, vacuum cleaners require careful attention and maintenance if they are to achieve their desired longevity. As such, if you're not familiar with vacuum cleaner care, it's a good idea to review the following list of best practices for looking after your vacuum cleaner:

1. If you have a bagged vacuum, regularly check the bag and replace it if need be. It's generally advised to change the bag when it starts to feel full, rather than waiting until it is absolutely packed with dirt and debris; a very full vacuum bag both makes the vacuum run less efficiently and makes it work harder, leading to greater wear and tear. Never, under any circumstances, use a bagged vacuum when the bag is completely full—doing so will almost certainly cause irreversible damage.

2. If you have a bagless vacuum, empty it before every use. While doing this is not absolutely necessary, it's better for the vacuum and will make it run far more efficiently. You should also be sure to rinse out the removable bin at least once per every three vacuuming sessions in order to prevent dirt and grime becoming “caked on” to the walls of the bin.

3. Clean your vacuum's vent covers. Vent covers are designed to stop large objects (e.g. coins, socks) from entering the vacuum. As these covers act like filters, over time they begin to become clogged, which causes the vacuum to work harder to achieve the same clean. If this situation is not addressed in a timely fashion, the vacuum will begin to overheat, possibly burning out altogether.

4. Clean or replace your vacuum's filters. The same logic outlined in the point above applies here—the dirtier your vacuum's filters are, the harder its motor must work, and the greater the risk of damage to the vacuum. Additionally, dirty vacuum cleaners cause the vacuum to release a significant amount of dust, dirt, and allergens back in the air.

5. Remove debris from your vacuum's roller. The roller is the spinning, bristly part of the vacuum's head which comes into contact with the carpet, digging up embedded dirt. Though a dirty roller will not usually destroy the vacuum itself, it will embed dust, grime, and allergens deeper into the carpet, making your vacuum less effective and making professional carpet cleaning necessary every few months, rather than twice per year.


10 April 2016

How to Prepare For End of Lease Cleaning

            Preparing for end of lease cleaning doesn't have to be stressful; though it's a large undertaking, it's one where the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure can be applied to excellent effect. By starting your preparation efforts well ahead of time, you should be able to implement a hassle-free and effective end of tenancy cleaning plan. If you're wondering how to get started, the four tips below will help you create the perfect end-of-lease organisation strategy:

1. Cut down on clutter. Clutter makes it many times harder to clean your home; in a cluttered house, there are more objects to rearrange while cleaning, obstacles will be present in your path, there is more to dust, more to tidy up, etc. Not only is this inconvenient, it can actually be hazardous; the risk of falls is increased by clutter, as is the risk of back injury due to repeated lifting.

Additionally, if your lease is due to end soon, you're likely planning on moving, making it doubly important to shed clutter in order to reduce moving costs. If you need to drastically cull excess items, try going through each room in your home, placing everything you absolutely need in one pile and everything you don't need in another (the “want” pile). Once you are done, go back and allow yourself to choose a few items from the “want” pile in each room to keep, then get rid of the rest.

2. Research professional cleaners in your area. While it's possible to perform end of lease cleaning on your own, it's not advised; some landlords can be incredibly picky and will use any small flaw they notice to deny you your deposit return. Having a professional cleaner come in both ensures that your home is cleaned fully and properly and shows your landlord that you made a verifiable, serious effort to maintain the space you are leasing.

If you do decide to attempt end of lease cleaning on your own, be sure to at least have a professional come in to clean the carpets; only professional-grade machines can truly restore them to like-new condition.

3. Create a “cleaning checklist”. This will allow you to make sure that you clean everything that needs cleaning before inspection, or alternately to verify with a professional cleaning company what needs to be done and how much the fee will be.

4. If you have pets, board them elsewhere while you're taking care of cleaning your home or apartment. Pets, as lovely as they are to have around, are a notorious source of dirt and allergens. If possible, have your furry friends stay with a friend or relative until your residence has been cleaned and has passed inspection. 

6 April 2016

Keeping your home warm during Sydney winters

Sydney winters can be cold and worrisome for most Sydneysiders. Keeping your house clean and warm during the winter months is a struggle we all face. Here are some handy hints to keep your home warm and clean during the winter months.Clean as you go,make sure you clean on the run. Winter months are notorious for lethargy and procrastination, cleaning as you go means youll never have an unecessary build up of dust, mould or uncitely grime and dirt. During the Sydney winter months make sure to keep a heater handy and only have one source of ventilation. Unecessary sources of ventilation remove heat from your home and cool it down instead of keeping it warm. A clean house is a warm house so be sure to engage in deep cleanings every month or fortnight. During winter in Sydney make sure to use excess blankets as a means of increasing body temperature. Finally a clean home during winter contributes to a feeling of warmth within the home. Rug up this winter and make the most of the cool Sydney weather.

6 March 2016

Mould No More: How to Banish Unsightly Shower Mould

Shower mould is the anathema of even the most dedicated and enthusiastic housekeeper; it can feel all but impossible to totally remove mould stains, and the mould itself often resurfaces with alarming rapidity. Adding to the stress of having such an unsightly blemish in one's bathroom, most of us are aware that mould carries real health risks, such as nasal and throat irritation, coughing and wheezing, eye irritation, and toxic reactions that can manifest as flu-like symptoms, skin infections, and even pneumonia.

            Fortunately, if you're wondering how to get rid of stubborn shower mould, you've come to the right place: The five strategies below will have your bathroom gleaming and mould-free in no time:

1. For mould on hard surfaces, combine 1/2 cup of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup of warm water in a spray bottle, then spray the solution in and around your shower stall (make sure to include the floor). Let the mixture sit for a full hour so that it can soak in and kill the mould, then scrub the shower area vigorously with a stiff-bristled brush and piping hot water.

2. For very stubborn mould, try quaternary ammonium household cleaners. These don't actually contain ammonia, contrary to what the name suggests; they are composed of specialised anti-bacterial salts which are very effective at killing mould—far more effective than bleach. Just be sure to follow all of the safety precautions on the label as these cleaners are quite potent.

3. Wash your shower curtain regularly. For a quick and effective clean, place your shower curtain in the washing machine along with an assortment of towels and cloths; these will both protect the curtain and act as “scrubbers” during the washing process. You should also add a 1/2 cup of bicarbonate soda to the water for a bit of extra abrasive action. After the shower curtain has been washed (using hot water and a cold rinse cycle), hang it out to dry. Allow it to dry completely before using it again.

4. To clean grout, mix 7 cups of warm water with 1/2 cup of baking soda,1/3 cup of ammonia, and 1/4 cup of white vinegar, blend thoroughly, then pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the grout and let the mixture sit for at least five minutes before scrubbing with a hard-bristled brush. Repeat as necessary, rinsing away dirty water between applications.

5. To prevent mould from recurring, run your bathroom fans frequently. You should also shake off your shower curtain after each shower or bath, and be sure not to close it so completely that it cannot air dry.


14 October 2015

5 Simple Cleaning Hacks From Maidforyou.com.au

         Cleaning is a tough job—that's why many of us put it off until it becomes downright overwhelming. The tedium of washing, scrubbing, and drying, often wrestling with the same stains and ground-in dirt several times over before seeing a truly clean surface again, leaves many of us asking, “Isn't there an easier way?”

         Yes, there is: Hire a professional cleaning service to take care of the work for you! But, alas, we don't always have the funds to do so, or we find ourselves having to clean up unexpected messes during the week... And that's where these five simple cleaning hacks from Maidforyou.com.au come in handy:

1. Use furniture polish to create a quick “gleaming clean” around the house.

         You can safely use spray-on furniture polish to create a beautiful “I scrubbed this for hours” shine on many appliances, coffee tables, dressers, fixtures, and just about anything else that could use a bit of sheen. Just be sure to read the directions and warning labels on your specific product before using it, and don't let it get on the floor; it's slippery stuff!

2. Give your cutting board a quick chemical-free clean with salt and lemon juice.

         If you need to clean your cutting boards but don't wish to scrub them by hand or run the dishwasher, just cover them with salt and grab a halved lemon and scrub them down quickly (and then rinse). This will clean the surface and kill any bacteria present, without the use of harsh cleaners which may not be food-safe.

3. Use a lint roller to dust tricky surfaces.

         Feather dusters are not the most effective tools for cleaning surfaces that have a bit of dust-grabbing “tooth” to them, such as lampshades; a lint roller works much better.

4. Clean your sofa with baking soda.

         Washing any kind of upholstered furniture is a massive job, and one that is usually better left to the pros. Fortunately, if your sofa begins to look dingy or develops an odour in between professional cleans, you can apply a trusted and true carpet-cleaning hack to freshen it up: Simply sprinkle on baking soda, let it sit overnight, and then vacuum it up the next day.

5. Prevent soap scum accumulation through the use of liquid shower gel.

         If you use liquid shower gel rather than bar soap while bathing or showering, you can almost entirely prevent the buildup of hard-to-remove soap scum. How? According to Lynn Marie Bower of the Housekeeping channel, “The fats and oils in soaps create problems with soap scum,” whereas “body wash is technically a detergent, so it’s specifically formulated to prevent gross crud from caking up in the shower.”

25 September 2015

Got Allergies? Try These 4 Symptom-Killing Spring Cleaning Tips

 If you suffer from allergies, engaging in spring cleaning is important for more than aesthetic reasons—it's key to preventing allergy symptoms.

  "Thoroughly cleaning your home can help eliminate allergens and keep new ones from easily entering," explains Dr. James Sublett, an allergy expert at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. "Allergy season can last all year for those sensitive to indoor allergens, but it can worsen in the spring months when pollen becomes an issue. It's important to remove allergens from the home so you can lead a healthy and active lifestyle.”

 When spring cleaning in Sydney, implement the following four tips to eliminate allergens and keep your spring symptom-free:

1. Start with prevention. Throughout the year, be sure to use air filters which have a MERV rating of 11-12, and change them at least once every 3 months. Likewise, you should vacuum often (at least once a week, more in high-traffic areas), and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter (or use a cyclonic vacuum). Bedding should be washed weekly as well, along with any stuffed animals you or your children own.

2. Consider professional carpet cleaning. Though vacuuming frequently helps to keep allergens from nestling deep into carpet fibres, despite all of our best efforts, pet dander, mould, pollen, and dust mites will get ground into the layers of our carpets that vacuums cannot reach. Hiring a professional carpet cleaner as part of your spring cleaning regimen is therefore advisable; professional cleaners use commercial-grade hot water extraction carpet cleaning machines which powerfully suck dirt and allergens out from all levels of one's carpeting.

3. Keep windows closed during your spring cleaning. Many people habitually “air out” their homes as part of spring cleaning, but if you suffer from allergies, this will simply let more pollen enter the home, where it will find its way into carpeting and upholstery. Focus on changing air filters and installing dehumidifiers instead, to remove allergens, and to control dust mites (which need moist air to survive) and mould.

4. Schedule your outdoor activities to avoid pollen exposure. Spring cleaning usually involves a lot of yard work during the peak hours of the day (midday and afternoon); alas, this is when pollen counts reach their absolute highest, so you're bound to track a lot of allergens back into the house with you when you return indoors. Save your outdoor activities for evening, and be sure to wear gloves and an N95 particulate pollen mask when you mow the lawn.


31 August 2015

5 Ways to Create a Minimalist Look in a Small Apartment

         Affordable, trendy CBD apartments are all the rage in Sydney, helping young professionals to afford a space of their own despite rising rents and real estate costs. Attractive as these apartments are price-wise, when not decorated properly, they can easily begin to feel a bit claustrophobic; to keep your small apartment feeling open and airy, try implementing the 5 strategies outlined below:

1. Use light colours to decorate your apartment and let the sunshine in. Light colours fool our minds into seeing more space than is actually present owing to their reflective qualities, and having more light flowing through a room helps our eyes to absorb the amount of space that is present. Shadows, on the other hand, act like visual clutter, obscuring tracts of space.

2. Go electronic wherever possible. Books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, etc., are notorious space-hogs and easily create a cluttered look in a small apartment. As such, you should replace your books and magazines with e-books and online subscriptions (keep just a few coffee table books for decoration), turn to streaming services for your movies, and use a small iPod dock with speakers to play music, rather than having a stereo system and CDs.

3. Make extensive, organised use of containers. Out of sight truly is out of mind, so make sure there is a container for everything from winter clothes, to spare shoes, to knickknacks—anything you're not actively using should be stored in a bin.

4. Get rid of excess furniture. Creating a minimalist look means paring down your furniture count; stick to furniture you actually need, such as a table, bed, and couch, and forgo things like plant stands, TV stands, end tables, etc.

5. Think vertical. In a tiny space, the only way to go is up: Make extensive use of the precious real estate provided by your walls and get creative with shelving. Glass shelves, which keep the space looking open, are often an excellent choice, as are very small shelving units which can be fit into the corner space where walls join.

         Living a minimalist lifestyle can be challenging—it forces you to religiously declutter and go without frills—but the rewards are many, particularly when it comes to maintaining the space. Joshua Fields Millburn, author of The Minimalists blog, has found that “There are plenty of fringe benefits from living my minimalist lifestyle, too many of which I never anticipated. For example, I used to spend eight hours at a time cleaning my big, three-bedroom suburban house, vacuuming and mopping the floors, dusting every surface and knickknack; but my current apartment takes less than 45 minutes to clean, including mopping and scrubbing the bathroom.”

25 August 2015

Beat the Heat: How to Keep a Clean Home All Summer Long

We all know the best ways to deal with the extremely hot weather here in Sydney: Put the nearest fan on high, relax in as little clothing as possible, float around in the pool, and just generally do as little as possible. Alas, no matter how high the temperature rises, dishes and laundry still pile up, dirt still accumulates, and dust still settles.

         Unfortunately, houses often get even dirtier during the hottest months; pests, mould, bacteria, and dust mites all love warm conditions, and tend to thrive in them (especially if it's humid). Likewise, odours are invariably stronger when it's hot.

         As such, it's not an option to let cleaning slide during the summer months—no matter how scorching the weather may be, you have to get up and tidy the house regardless. Thankfully, there are some strategies out there to make your job a bit easier:

1. Consider hiring a professional cleaner during the hot summer months in Sydney. It's a good idea to have your house cleaned professionally at least twice a year anyway, especially if you suffer from allergies and/or asthma. So, why not make your life easier and schedule one of these deep cleans during the hottest month of the year? The less activity you have to engage in, the cooler you will be.

2. If you have pets, focus on controlling their hair. Pets shed more in hot weather, which leads to more mess, more dander, and more food for dust mites, which live off the dead skin cells of humans and animals alike. Vacuum pet hair from floors and furniture twice weekly, and take the time to wash and brush your pet, preferably outside (this will help cool your pet down, too). You may also consider having your pet groomed professionally if you don't want to expend the extra energy.

3. Dust and vacuum often. Dusting is a simple, light activity which shouldn't heat you up too much, but which will go a long way toward keeping the overall levels of dirt and allergens in your home down. Vacuuming is also fairly low-key and does a lot of “damage control” where dirt and allergens are concerned.

4. Make extensive use of baskets and bins. One of the best ways to keep mess at bay—without having to go to a lot of physical effort yourself—is to have a system of labelled baskets and bins in place so that people in your household can easily tidy up after themselves. Having a shoe basket is especially important, as it keeps children from walking across the halls/floors with their shoes on, preventing the vast majority of the dirt they track in from ending up ground into carpets and littering hard surfaces.


4 August 2015
Daily Home Cleaning Maintenance: The Key To Mastering Mess

Too often, people find themselves in the following cycle: Their homes slowly accumulate dirt and mess over time, until it becomes unbearable and they decide they have to get down to business and deep-clean the residence from top to bottom. They do so, and for about a week, it looks beautiful! But somehow, despite resolutions to keep the house clean this time, slowly it succumbs to mess once more.

         The problem is usually how these individuals view cleaning: As a large chore which is reserved for weekends, or worse, just once every fortnight. When the time to clean comes, they often find they are too tired, or too busy, to take on such a large job—and thus, the mess remains and grows larger.

         The secret to ending this cycle lies in daily home cleaning maintenance: Knowing which chores can be done quickly enough to fit into each day, thereby reducing the weekend workload. Use the guide below as a template for quick, efficient daily cleaning, and you will soon find your home or apartment becomes much more manageable:

In the kitchen: Take 5-10 minutes to clear out and wipe down the sink, moving all dishes to the dishwasher. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe up spills on the counters and on the floor—save mopping for the weekend. Take another 5 minutes to put away dish towels, oven mitts, and any other clutter.

In the bathroom: Wipe out the sink, wipe off the toilet seat and rim, and clean the mirror. Give the toilet bowl a quick swirl with the brush and wipe down the shower door—this will keep stubborn grime from accumulating on either. (The whole job should entail about 15 minutes of cleaning in total.)

In the bedroom: Make the bed and tidy any clothing left lying around (about 5 minutes). Sort out anything on the nightstand that is creating clutter.

In the living room: De-clutter the area, making sure that video games, toys, remote controls, books etc. are in their proper places, then quickly vacuum any crumbs off the sofa and wipe down the coffee table. This should only take about ten minutes in total; if it takes longer, chances are that you lack an organised system of bins in which to place such objects. If that is the case, get a toy box, a box for movies and video games, magazine racks, etc. and label them so that others in the household can easily tidy up after themselves.

         And there you have it: In under an hour per day, you can cut your weekend workload in half, and stay on top of the mess in your home. If you're truly pinched for time in the evenings, try fitting in these activities whenever you are waiting around for something else: e.g. while dinner is cooking, work on the bathroom and living room; on commercial breaks during your favourite TV program, get up and tidy the kitchen, and so on.



23 April 2015

Beating the Winter Clutter Bug: Six Ways to Use the Colder Months to get Organised

     For many of us in here in Sydney, winter is the season of clutter—not only do we have to pull out a pile of extra clothing to keep us cosy in the chilly air, we also tend to spend much more time indoors. Rainy days are devoted to crafting and hobbies, children spread their toys around the house, and in no time at all, things get downright messy, necessitating a thorough clean-out once spring rolls around.

    Sydney in the winter and house clutter don't have to go hand in hand, however; though many people don't realise it, winter is actually the perfect time to get organised. After all, who wants to spend beautiful sunny spring days indoors de-cluttering, when they could put being stuck indoors on miserable ones to productive use? Likewise, cleaning and organising during the winter provides an ideal way to get indoor exercise, combating lethargy and depression.

   To kick-start your journey to a cleaner and happier home this winter, we've compiled the following six clutter-busting tips:

1. Start with your storage spaces: Many people begin by working on cleaning and de-clutting the living areas of their homes, then get frustrated when there is “nowhere to put things” and invariably give up. To avoid hitting this wall, start by cleaning out your storage spaces. Chances are good they are full of things you barely ever use, and which are perfectly replaceable.

2. Focus on one room at a time: There is no faster way to become overwhelmed (and create a massive mess!) than by trying to pull out and organise everything in your home in a sort of week-long spree. Instead, take things slowly and tackle problem areas one at a time.

3. Prune your winter wardrobe: Cast a critical on what you're actually wearing as you venture out into the chill each day, and which items you seldom use. Those you rarely wear should be donated—it will mean less to store away in the spring, and make winter wardrobe-related clutter less of an issue during the cold season.

4. Remember to organise the small spaces, too: Desk drawers, medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers and cupboards, and other “out of sight, out of mind” places are nesting grounds for needless clutter (dried-out markers, notepads long since disused after the advent of smartphones, half-working pens, mostly-empty bottles of lotion, and so on). Purge all of this useless junk and reorganise these small spaces more practically, storing items you actually use in them (cell phone chargers, adapter cords, etc.)

5. Go as paperless as possible: Bills, envelopes, and receipts are one of the greatest sources of preventable clutter there is, littering our desk surfaces, clogging our cabinets and drawers, and even seeping out onto tables and counter tops. In the era of online banking, there's really no need for all this—you can pay bills and record expenditures online, and you can scan copies of old paper documents you do want to keep a record of, so that they are kept on your computer instead of in your desk drawers.

6. Get into clutter-free habits: Not only should you get rid of everything around the house that you're not using, try to avoid collecting new clutter as well. Eschew the practice of buying things you might use one day simply because they happen to be on sale, and learn to say “no” to hand-me-downs from friends and family (no matter how tempting it is to be presented with free things!) unless they truly are of practical value to you. 



8 April 2015

How to Choose The Best Cleaning Products

            Cleaning products are surrounded by ambiguity; more likely than not, at some point during your lifetime, you've found yourself asking questions such as “If I buy a cheaper off-brand cleaner to put in my dishwasher, will it work just as well?”, “Do I really need all these different cleaners just to clean my kitchen?”, and of course, “How do I remove this stain that just won't come off?”

            If you asked around for advice, you likely encountered a surprising range of different opinions on the matter; your mother probably has her favourite way of doing things, so does your aunt, etc., so separating fact from subjective evidence can prove difficult. Fortunately, knowing a few general rules and pointers is enough to get you well on your way to choosing the best cleaning products to keep your home spotless, without getting mired in a long debate:

  • Pay attention to the cleaner's ingredients. A cleaner's ingredients tell you the most about how suitable it is for the job you have in mind. Cleaners are usually either acidic or alkaline; acidic cleaners work well for removing mineral stains and built up material (limescale, rust, soap scum). Alkaline cleaners, on the other hand, work well on fats, oils, greases, and waxes. Strong solvents like bleach should only be used with caution, when absolutely necessary, to remove the toughest of stains from resilient surfaces.

            Always take the time to research whether the surface you need to clean will be damaged by the ingredients of the cleaner you have in mind; carpet and upholstery, for example, can be melted by certain solvents (e.g. acetone) and damaged very easily by bleach. Wood floors are easily damaged by anything water-based.

  • Know that price does matter, but only sometimes. Cheaper dish-washing powders really do tend to be less effective than their cheaper brethren, and cheaper surface polishers often result in a less desirable finish. That being said, there are other jobs where you can eschew buying a cleaner altogether and simply use a common household staple like baking soda (deodorizing carpets, refrigerators, a light abrasive for scrubbing away grime) or vinegar (removing mineral deposits from windows and faucets, disinfecting counter-tops).

  • Most cleaning products are “antibacterial”. In general, there is simply no need to pay more for a cleaning product because it is marketed as being “antibacterial”, or to buy antibacterial wipes and solutions on top of your usual cleaning products. Plain detergents and water have been proven to remove bacteria and viruses from surfaces very effectively.

  • Similarly, if you're concerned about toxins and/or the environment, know that just because a cleaner is marketed as “natural”, “green”, or “non-toxic” does not mean that it is. Once again, it's vital to check the actual list of ingredients and verify what each of them are before purchasing (watch for “sneaky” chemical ingredients like phthalates; as they are merely used for fragrance, many “safe” cleaners include them, but most would argue that this chemical—which has been implicated in hormonal disruptions and other issues—is far from truly green or natural!) 




24 March 2015


Sprucing Up Your Bathroom: How to Create a Clean and Beautiful Space Without Remodelling

A bathroom is so much more than a place to take care of physical needs; for so many of us, the bathroom provides an oasis, a place we can go at the end of our hectic days for a long hot soak, removing the ache from our bones and calming the stress tightening our nerves. For busy parents in noisy households, it may provide a blissfully serene place to read for a while with few interruptions; for a shy teenager, it may be a realm of transformation where he or she indulges in hours of primping, gathering the courage to attend large social events.

            Regardless of a person's age or place in life, when they enter a bathroom, they know they're going in there for the sole reason of attending to their own needs, and no one else's.

            Naturally, then, it's important to make this space feel like a true haven; a dingy, depressing bathroom soon ruins the welcome sense of respite that bathrooms are associated with. Few of us, of course, have the money to spontaneously decide to remodel, but there are a number of simple, inexpensive changes you can make to spruce up your bathroom and make it feel like the tranquil space it's meant to be:

  • Perform “deep cleans” every couple of months. Bathrooms get dingier faster than other areas of the house owing to their high moisture content and frequent use by multiple people (often for activities that involve the shedding of hair and skin cells), and there is nothing like visible grime in a bathroom to activate one's “ew” response. Deep cleans should involve soaking the shower-head overnight in vinegar, removing and washing the shower curtains, bleaching away stains from grout (you can also seal the clean grout with a sealer, to keep it looking good for longer periods of time), scrubbing down all surfaces (walls, floor, counter tops, sink, faucets, etc.), and scrubbing out the toilet. Even an old bathroom can be an inviting, fresh-feeling space if kept very clean.

  • Update your faucets and fixtures. If you can't afford to remodel the whole bathroom, just replacing the components that are the most worn and dated—which is usually the faucets and light fixtures—can work wonders for making the room feel newer and cleaner.

  • Get organized. Bathrooms that look untidy and cluttered are never restful; if you have an older bathroom which features a pedestal sink and few towel bars, consider adding a wall-hung towel rack and putting up some shelves. On the shelves, place attractive labelled containers (these can house your lotions, soaps, makeup, etc.) and a few well-chosen decorations.

  • Balance the colour of the room. If your bathroom is suffering from too much colour (creating a “heavy” feeling), try painting the walls and cabinets white or another pale shade, and leaving the coloured tiles in place (it's much easier to paint than replace tiles). If your bathroom is too light in colour (creating that dreaded cold, clinical atmosphere) try adding colourful standout elements such as wall art, bright curtains, colourful washcloths, light fixtures, etc. 

17 February 2015 

How to Clean Mould in The Bathroom

It seems that no matter how hard we try we cannot avoid the formation of mould in the bathroom. Even the pleasant climate in Sydney cannot serve as a protection from mould. The unpleasant black specks mainly occur at the joints between the tiles and the edges of the tub. They are certainly one unpleasant aesthetic and hygienic problem which is potentially dangerous to health, especially if it spreads to other parts of our home. So, what exactly can we do in order to get rid of this unpleasant mould?

The bathroom is a hotbed of mould because this room is constantly humid, warm and it doesn’t support normal air flow. In order to prevent the formation of mould, we need to find a way to alter these conditions. For example, leave some of the windows in the bathroom or the door slightly opened when you are showering (in case this is possible).

In case you don’t have a window, use a dehumidifier or a ventilator that is beneficial to be turned on even when the mirror in the bathroom is not blurred because even then the moisture in the bathroom is present. Even if we can’t see the moisture this doesn’t mean that it is not there.

Many people believe that they can successfully protect their home from mould if they polish the tiles in the bathroom on a daily basis. These tiles should be polished only when it is necessary. However, there are certain measures of precaution that can be performed every day in order to prevent and fight these ugly dark layers.

Keep all the surfaces in the bathroom clean from dirt and especially from things like remains of shampoo, cream and oil for the body. Keep the wet towels out of the bathroom and the bathroom curtains should be made of synthetic materials that have low water absorption power.  

Keep in mind that the way you fight against mould depends on how much and how long it has been present. If there is much work ahead of you, you should definitely choose cleaning products that don’t contain much hazardous chemicals in order to avoid respiratory problems. Many experts can confirm that water and microfiber cloth that has great power of absorbency can be the most efficient tools in this procedure. In order to clean the corners in the best way use some old toothbrush or special cleaning sponges.

If these methods don’t provide any results, then it is a good idea to use bleaching. Create a mixture of three cups of water and one cup of bleaching liquid or simply buy some stain remover that contains a smaller amount of bleach. If this method doesn’t work, use a stronger concentrate. Remember not to combine two different products like bleach and ammonia for example, because they can result in toxic fumes that can seriously damage your health.

If all these methods don’t work you can use the services of a professional cleaning company!

18 December 2014

The Best Way to Clean Common Kitchen Appliances

Despite the fact that many appliances are used for the preparation of food or for cleaning dishes and clothing—applications which demand a high standard of cleanliness—they’re often kept in a rather dirty and neglected state owing to how laborious it can feel to clean them. Likewise, many people don’t realise how to thoroughly clean them, leaving pockets of bacteria lurking in hidden spaces even when cleaning is attempted.

The best way to avoid this, and to save time when cleaning these important pieces of machinery, is to know beforehand which cleaning methods are best for each appliance. To that end, the following guide is being provided:

Coffee Maker:

Many people stick with periodically cleaning out their coffee pots (a straightforward enough process), but the entire machine should actually be cleaned out at least once a month, lest scale from hard water and rancid coffee oils build up, affecting both the taste of the coffee and the longevity of the machine.

Fortunately, cleaning a coffee maker’s internal components is much less complicated than many assume; just make a solution of 3 cups white vinegar to 6 cups water (make the solution stronger if the machine has gone a long time without being cleaned), place a filter into the machine as you would when making a new pot of coffee, add the vinegar mix to the water area, and turn the coffee maker on. Once the vinegar has run through, let the coffee maker sit for at least 15 minutes, then run plain water through it so as to remove any remnants of the vinegar. That’s all there is to it—generally there’s no need to get in there and scrub as long as you do this regularly.

Toaster:

Toasters that aren’t cleaning regularly start to smoke ominously, and may even catch on fire, so it’s important to keep them tidy. Remember to always unplug a toaster prior to cleaning it, and never use water or chemicals to clean the inside of a toaster. Instead, remove and empty the crumb tray (if your model of toaster has one), then take the main body of the toaster and shake it out forcefully over a trash bin. If there is carbon built up inside the toaster (it can sometimes cake onto the coils) very gently scrub them with a dry toothbrush.

24 November 2014

The Best Way to get Organised for Sydney Australia's Holiday Season

 

While Australia’s Christmas may differ from that experienced by the rest of the world in many unique and enriching ways, it has something very much in common with the global experience: It’s busy to the point of being frenetic, especially in already bustling places like Sydney. Ergo, it’s vitally important to get organised in the month or so before the holiday season hits, by planning all of the following in advance:

Ready Your Decorations:

If you haven’t already done so in previous years, pull out your boxes of decorations and organise them into smaller, labelled containers so you’re not rooting around endlessly through large boxes when you go to decorate your tree and home. Throw out anything you’re not really in love with, and test your strings of lights, checking for any burned out bulbs that need to be replaced (it will save you running around to buy a bunch of new bulbs close to Christmas, in the middle of everything else going on). Keep some spare bulbs on hand as well, in case of future bulb failures.

Plan Your Menu:

In years past, many Australians tried to adhere to a traditional British-style holiday dinner, even though Christmas down under occurs during summer (and who really wants to heat up the house and chow down on roast turkey and warm pudding in the middle of a heat wave?) Rather than attempting heavy, grandiose meals, plan for summer-suitable fare the family can enjoy at a backyard barbecue, a picnic in the park, gardens, or on the beach. Ideas include seafood, glazed ham, cold chicken dishes (or duck or turkey if you prefer), cold deli meats, pasta, salad (and fruit salad), pavlovas, ice-cream, mince pies, fruit cake, shortbread, chocolates etc.

Plan Your Activities:

One of the greatest bonuses of Christmas in Australia is that it falls during summer; unlike in northerly climes, where people are stuck inside as snowstorms rage outdoors, Australians are blessed with sunshine, blue skies, and endless warmth (not to mention youngsters are gearing up for their summer holidays and will be in great spirits as a result). Naturally, this is the perfect time to get outdoors with the whole family, to go surfing, boating, or swimming together.

For many Sydney residents, the place to be on Christmas is at Bondi Beach, which typically hosts huge musical acts and various parties. In 2013, for example, current superstar DJ Skrillex played, and in 2012 the The Chemical Brothers were featured. David Guetta, Bob Sanchez, Carl Cox, Underworld, Fat Boy Slim, and many others have played at Bondi beach in years past.

If you’re after something a bit more traditional, try out the Sydney Opera House where, according to the Sydney Christmas website, a “500-strong choir and orchestra will be joined by Opera star Emma Matthews to perform popular carols and contemporary festive classics included Abigails Song from Doctor Who and Ave Maria.”

Plan Your Gifts:

Make two separate lists: one for people receiving gifts, another for those you're sending cards to, then list each gift you plan to buy for each individual… And of course, follow that golden rule of Christmas shopping: Don’t leave it until the last week before Christmas!


27 October 2014

3 Quick Tips for Refreshing Your Old Carpet

From barbecues to boat rides to coastal hikes, people in Sydney lead active lifestyles as they make the most out of the beauty their city has to offer. While there is no question that being outdoors so much is great for our bodies, it tends to wreak havoc on our carpets, as people and pets come and go, tracking in all kinds of things and leaving stains in their wake.

And of course, there’s also just normal wear and tear to contend with—heavy furniture and daily use both take a big tole on the plush pile of carpets, leaving them looking flat, worn, and overall dull and uninspiring.

As tearing up and replacing all the carpet in your home is both very costly and very intrusive, it’s best to make the most out of the carpet you have for as long as possible. There are many easy things you can do to refresh your old carpet and keep it looking newer for longer, such as the three quick tips below:

  • Get rid of indentations left by furniture with ice and a stiff brush. Moving furniture can leave unsightly dents in your carpet, making it look older and more worn than it is. To remove these, grab an ice cube from the freezer and let it melt over the dent, then gently scrub the pile with a stiff brush, pulling it back into place. (Note that you shouldn’t use a hairdryer set on high to melt the ice—this can damage your carpet! If you have to speed the process along, use a hairdryer set on low heat.)

  • Clean your carpet with baking soda and vinegar. Simple and inexpensive, this old-fashioned trick works wonders to revive dilapidated carpet pile. First work in the baking soda with a stiff brush (rub it in deeply, working in all directions), then let it sit overnight so that it can fully absorb odours and bacteria. The following day, vacuum it up, spritz on a water and vinegar mix, and raise the pile with your brush. Your carpet will look as good as new in a few hours, and the vinegar scent will naturally dissipate as well.

  • Hire a professional housecleaner. Professional housecleaners often use industrial-grade equipment to clean carpets and other areas in the home, producing a clean that’s hard to achieve on your own; they also have the benefit of many years of experience. You’d be surprised at the strange tricks some professional housecleaners know when it comes to removing stubborn stains and reviving worn carpet pile. 

11 September 2014

10 Things To Do Before You Move Out

There’s no question that Sydney residents like to get around—people in Australia move, on average, once every five to seven years. But, as exciting as the prospect of moving to a new home or apartment is, the whole process can quickly turn into a nightmare if not organised properly. To ensure a hassle-free moving experience, make sure you do the following ten things before you move out:

1. Round up all the keys you had cut for your home or apartment, including those you gave to family, friends, or neighbours—you really don’t want to leave any spare sets floating around!

2. Have a garage sale. The absolute worst thing about moving is having to take box after box of items from one house or apartment to the next. Packing hundreds of items, unpacking them, trying to make sure they don’t get lost or broken, arranging and rearranging them, storing those you’re not using… It will soon become obvious to you that there’s a reason nomadic people owned so few things.

To cut down on this massive headache, get rid of much as you possibly can before you move. (A good rule of thumb is that if you’ve been saving an item because you might use it “one day”, it can generally go, as long as it can be replaced.)

If you don’t want the work of hauling everything you don’t need to the dump or to donate somewhere, and want to make a bit of extra cash for your move while you’re at it, the most logical thing to do is hold a big garage sale. Your neighbours will love the bargains, and you will love having a lighter load to take to your new home.

3. If you’re leaving appliances behind, make sure to clean them all out. Your oven, fridge, washer, and drier should be left in like-new condition as a courtesy to the next people who will be using them.

4. If you’re renting, be sure to read through your entire lease at least 60 days before moving out. Leases sometimes have very odd exiting conditions; it’s best to be aware of them before you get started trying to move everything.

5. Hire a professional housecleaner if you can. If you’re renting, a messy house or apartment may cost you getting your security deposit back, and some landlords are very picky. It’s best to hire a professional housecleaning service to get into all those nooks and crannies you find hard to completely clean out, just in case. No landlord will be able to argue with the spotless cleaning job left by a professional with industrial-grade equipment and win.

6. If you’re doing some or all of your own cleaning, schedule your moving and cleaning to take place on different days. It’s generally impossible to pull off doing both at once, not to mention simply exhausting. Move everything first, then come back on another day to clean out the empty spaces left behind (or have a housecleaning service come in and do it).

7. Make a list of all the institutions and companies that will need your new address. This includes everywhere you bank and shop online, your Paypal account, and so much more—you’ll likely need to devote a few hours to this task.

8. Once you’ve updated your address with everyone, make sure you head to your local post office and set up mail forwarding so you don’t miss out on bills and other important mail once you get settled at your new address.

9. Make sure to leave out enough necessities when you’re packing to last you until you move. Organise what you need on a day to day basis (things like curling irons, hair driers, toilet paper) and make sure they’re set aside and don’t get packed in a box somewhere—There is nothing more frustrating than having to unpack (and then repack) ten boxes just to find a hairbrush or some similar such necessity.

10. Patch up holes and repaint the walls. Remove your artwork from the walls along with any nails and screws, then patch up the holes left over with spackling paste. Once the paste is dry, sand it down so that it lies flat against the wall, and repaint the walls (if you’re a renter, you may want to leave this part for your landlord—check with him or her before doing any painting).

5 June 2014

Organisation Throughout the Home: The Three-Step Approach

The longer you stay in your home, the more cluttered it tends to become. Over the years, gifts, souvenirs, favourite items, children’s first clothing and toys, and other keepsakes accumulate—plus all those things you’re not currently using, but swear you'll probably have a use for “someday.”

This clutter makes it easy for homes to become disorganized, especially if you live with people who have the frustrating habit of not tidying up after themselves. Don’t give in to the temptation to just go with it, however, because sooner or later it will overwhelm you. Plus, keeping your home organized is key to keeping it manageable, and good for the health of those in it; after all, an organized home is much more likely to be a clean home.

So, how do we beat the mess monster and keep it down?

  • Declutter. Really, this is the first and biggest hurdle we face in trying to keep a clean, organized home. You’re going to have to get tough with yourself—and others in your household—about what you really need to keep. Limit sentimental items to what is truly special, and rely more on photographs (many of which are stored digitally today) to keep your precious memories intact… And take a long, hard look at all that stuff you think you might use “someday”; if the item is replaceable, get rid of it, and when someday comes, buy another. Pare down these items to just the most expensive and hard to obtain.

  • Sort out what you DO use regularly. Once you have gotten rid of all that excess stuff, organize what you use regularly and start to categorize it: Bathroom items, kitchen items, etc. Then, think of a way to organize each room so that these needed items are always within easy reach (not just for ease of use; it will encourage people to put them back, too) whilst not being in the way or looking untidy. During this step, accrue enough baskets and crates to house what you don’t have built-in storage space for, and look at other creative extra storage options. For example, I once had a bench by the door with a seat that lifted up to reveal a storage space for mittens, scarves, etc. This made it very easy to keep those items tidy and out of sight while also keeping them easy to access when I went to leave the house during the winter.

  • Label everything. Once you have your items stored in their new homes, label any lidded crates so people can see at a glance where everything now belongs. Nothing will discourage people from tidying up faster than having to root through a bunch of unlabelled boxes to see where an item goes. Making organization easy is key to making it last.

Once you have done all of the above, your freshly organized home will have everyone breathing a sigh of relief, and any children present will be set on the path to learning good habits for life.

29 May 2014 

Tips For Cleaning Your Home in a Hurry

The number one reason our residences are often less than tidy is time—notably, our perpetual lack thereof. Working mothers and fathers often leave housecleaning to the weekends, just to find themselves too exhausted to do it and sorely tempted to hire a housekeeper despite the cost. College students, already overwhelmed with work and all-night study sessions, are unlikely to make apartment cleaning a priority… And who can blame them?

Alas, justifiable or not, the failure to keep a clean home or apartment can have serious repercussions, such as pest outbreaks, illness, and injury as a result of too much clutter. Not to mention, the mess only gets bigger the longer it is left to fester.

So, how do we keep up? According to Jane Hunt, a professional housecleaner based in Sydney, Australia, the key lies in mastering the art of “speed cleaning”. Ms. Hunt offers the following tips for getting the better of mess before it gets the better of you:

  • Jane recommends that you form a simple plan, multi-task, and don't return to rooms—one round of cleaning is generally enough, as long as one does so regularly.

  • Treat cleaning like a fine-tuned military operation—organised perfectly beforehand. "Organisation is the key,” says Ms. Hunt, “Set yourself a time limit, have your products ready, and move from room to room swiftly.”

  • Eschew perfectionism. Jane advises us to not get caught up in gleaming porcelain and flawless floors—the aim is simply to get the situation manageable.

  • Avoid distractions. Yes, it may occur to you while working that the microwave could use a clean, or that the entire fridge needs emptying out—save it for another day. Cover the areas that really need to be cleaned, rather than jumping around trying to clean everything you would like to see cleaned.

  • Use a timer. Giving yourself, for example, ten minutes per room, is a wonderful way to make sure your housecleaning activities stay within the amount of time you have to do them.

  • Clear spaces prior to cleaning. Linen, towels, dishes, piles of dirty clothes—all these things will get in your way and slow you down while you are cleaning. Toss them in the wash immediately and work while they are being cleaned.

  • Carry all the products you need with you. Designate a special bucket or basket for all your cleaning tools and products, and tote it with you from room to room—this will save you making unnecessary trips.

  • Dust and vacuum everything. Don’t bother with the broom, recommends Ms. Hunt; it leaves behind a great deal of material the vacuum will pick up. Simply dust and vacuum the entire house for an effective, speedy, refreshing clean. 

19 February 2014, 

Ecologically Sustainable Cleaning

Ecologically Sustainable Cleaning is the way of the future for home cleaning. With increasing concern for the environment and an ever growing ecologically sustainable mindset in Australia. Green cleaning is pushing all the boundaries in both commercial and home cleaning. 

You may ask, why the push for green cleans? Cleaning products are often released into the environment upon manufacturing and use of. Cleaning products are released to the environment during normal use through evaporation of volatile components and rinsing down the drain of residual product from cleaned surfaces and sponges. Janitorial staff and others who perform cleaning can be exposed to concentrated cleaning products. However use of green cleaning products can prevent complications that may come about to those who come into contact with excessive cleaning products. 

Certain ingredients in cleaning products can present hazard concerns to exposed populations (e.g., skin and eye irritation in workers) or toxicity to aquatic species in waters receiving inadequately treated wastes (note that standard sewage treatment effectively reduces or removes most cleaning product constituents). The use of green cleaning products in the home can prevent such hazards to both people and our Australian wildlife. 

Ingredients containing phosphorus or nitrogen can contribute to nutrient-loading in water bodies, leading to adverse effects on water quality. These contributions, however, are typically small compared to other point and non-point sources. Vinegar and Bi Carbonate soda are effective means of cleaning small stubborn spots within the home, without having to resort to hazardous chemicals. 


 

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