King of Maids Blog | Home Cleaning Tips & Articles
King of Maids, LLC was founded back in May of 2013 by Filip Boksa and Kamil Kowalkowski in Chicago, IL. Our goal from the very beginning was to bring simplicity and convenience for those who are looking to get home cleaning services. Here you will find tips, tricks, fun articles and informative information about maintaining a clean home.
Finally! You’ve made it through the toughest part of the moving experience – finding the home of your dreams. Now, all you need to do is get it ready for your family. While it’s often tempting to move in as quickly as possible, it’s worth dedicating some time to cleaning your new property.
With the help of a professional cleaning company, or even just a little bit of elbow grease, you can make sure that you’re ready to take full advantage of your fresh start while your new place is still free from furniture and boxes. Here are a few tips on cleaning your new home for the first time, delivered by the experts.
Start with the Bathroom and Work Your Way Down
Usually, the most important room to start with when you’re moving into a new home is the bathroom. If you’re booking a professional team to come and clean for you, then you don’t need to worry so much, but if you’re going to be doing some cleaning and organizing yourself, then you need to make sure that you have a clean and hygienic place to relieve yourself throughout the day.
If you want to banish germs before you’ve had a chance to book your cleaners, one of the quickest and most convenient things you can do is replace the toilet seat. It’s also worth throwing a little bleach down the sinkholes.
Give Plenty of Attention to the Kitchen
Once you have a bathroom that’s germ-free and safe to use, it’s important to think about how you can clean up the kitchen. After all, this is where your children and you are going to eat, so it’s crucial to get everything spic and span before you move in.
Usually, cleaning the kitchen means grabbing some bleach and water and going to town one everything from the floors, to the nooks and crannies that exist behind fridges and ovens. Make sure that you take the time to scrub inside of cabinets too, particularly if you plan on storing your food in these locations.
Tackle the Rest of the House One Room at a Time
Cleaning a new property before you move in is a big job – which is why so many people prefer to leave it to the professionals. Besides cleaning obvious things like kitchen counters and sinks, you’ll also need to scrub bath tubs, clean the floors, wash carpets, and even scrub the walls where sticky fingerprints have been left behind by previous residents.
By considering house cleaning services instead of tackling the remainder of the house on your own, you can rest assured that your property will get the deep clean it needs to get rid of all prior smells and stains that might have lingered from old owners. What’s more, it also means that you have more time to enjoy living in Dallas and getting used to the unique and incredible experiences this city has to offer.
Moving into a new home is a stressful experience. It only makes sense to make the process as simple as possible with the right help.
One question always comes up when I’m discussing why I chose vinyl floors for my home “Is it hard cleaning vinyl floors?”
Vinyl flooring is inexpensive, comfortable to walk on, waterproof and looks great. No wonder it’s one of the most popular options for homes around the world.
However, like many surfaces in your household, one question will always come up.
How to clean vinyl floors?
Well, fear not my fellow vinyl floor owners because today I am going to give you a super easy to follow guide on how to maintain and clean your vinyl floor, as well as giving away a few top secret tips.
This guide will not only be helpful and easy to understand, but it will also make your cleaning life a whole lot easier when it comes to cleaning your vinyl floor. It will save you time and increase your efficiency.
Step One: Maintaining Your Vinyl Floor.
Out of all the tips and tricks, I am going to show you, this is probably the most important one.
No matter how much you deep clean your vinyl floor, if you don’t maintain it in-between cleans, you will end up wasting your time. The time you spend deep cleaning your vinyl floor will sufficiently decrease, but only if you take little steps to maintain it every day. Not only will this save you time, but it will also save you money on a number of products you use will also be halved.
Put A Doormat On Your Vinyl Floor.
A doormat is the first thing any home needs, but with a vinyl floor, it’s essential. Whenever you leave the house the substances you track into your home when you return can damage your vinyl floors. Dirt, gravel, and chemicals from asphalt, over a period, can cause vinyl floors to get scratched and discolored. So when it comes to cleaning vinyl floors, a doormat gives you a little head start and will keep it looking brand new.
Sweep Your Vinyl Floor Every Day.
After reading that sub-heading, I know what some of you might be thinking…
Who has the time for that?
Yes, it may seem a little daunting, but if you want your vinyl floor to look and stay great, it’s a worthwhile sacrifice. You don’t have to go overboard. Simply get a soft bristle broom and lightly sweep your vinyl floor for 20 or so minutes every day. You will notice when it comes time to clean there is less dust and dirt because you have already tackled the build-up.
Never Use Abrasive Materials on Your Vinyl Floor.
As far as maintaining your vinyl floor goes, I cannot stress enough just how important this is. Using abrasive materials might fix the problem in the short term, but over time it will ruin your vinyl flooring. While it is obvious that using such materials as wire wool when cleaning vinyl floors is a big no-no.
It will come as a surprise, but some detergents are also considered abrasive. For example detergents such as the acidic “fast shine” products you find at your local supermarket, will only harm your vinyl floor. In fact, many of these products will leave your vinyl floor looking even dirtier, because those chemicals leave a dull film, so when cleaning, avoid these products too.
Step Two: The Best Techniques For Cleaning Vinyl Floors.
Now you know how to maintain your vinyl floor on a day to day basis, the next step is to clean it.
We tend to rush cleaning because we don’t enjoy it, but with vinyl floors, the utmost care and consideration are needed if you want it to look nice.
The tips and tricks I will reveal to you will make cleaning your vinyl floor so easy that you will enjoy it!
Like I mentioned already, lightly sweeping your vinyl floor every day is a great way to maintain it. And lightly sweeping your vinyl floor right before you mop it is the best way to clean it as it removes all the loose dirt. Not only will this prevent any rough particles from scratching the floors, but it also makes for a fresher looking finish on your vinyl floors.
It also saves time; how often have you cleaned up and then spent another half an hour picking up little bits of dirt? If you sweep before you mop, most of the dirt and dust will be gone, leaving you free to mop quickly and rinse without going back over it.
If You Choose to Vacuum Your Vinyl Floor, Use the Right Setting.
It’s an argument as old as vinyl itself; can you vacuum vinyl floors or do you have to sweep? The answer to that is yes. You can vacuum your vinyl floor, but you have to do it right.
One of the reasons people have said you shouldn’t vacuum vinyl floors is because of the scratches a big heavy plastic vacuum can leave behind. However, this is only true if you do not remove the beater bar from your vacuum. The beater bar is what causes all the scratches, so remove that when cleaning vinyl floors and you will have no scrapes, scratches or scuffs.
Alternatively, if your vacuum has a bare floor mode, set it to that before you start cleaning as it has the same effect of removing the beater bar.
The Low Impact Clean
Now we are getting to the juicy bit.
When you have swept or vacuumed, there is only one thing left to do; mop.
Now, when cleaning, there’s a big temptation we all have just quickly to blast through it with the strongest floor cleaner we can find. While this works in the short term, long term it’s not your best bet, especially with vinyl floors.
Not only does it harm your vinyl over a long time, but it can also be expensive to buy those big chemical heavy cleaners.
So the first thing you should know before you start mopping is not to fear the low-impact clean.
It may not feel as if you are doing much, but believe it or not, this often works better.
Just use a dampened mop (use warm water, not hot water) and at a push, a bit of soap, and your vinyl floors will be just as clean as if you blasted it with floor shiners.
Find the Right Soap for Your Vinyl Floor Before You Apply It.
When cleaning your vinyl floor it’s always best to use two cleaning appliances; one for general cleaning with or without soap, and one for rinsing. This will ensure you remove all soap scum when you are rinsing off the floor.
Make sure you don’t use too much water. If you soak a vinyl floor, the water will go under the cracks and bend the edges.
And no matter what avoid bleach at all costs when cleaning vinyl floors as it will only stain and damage it.
Step 3: Learning the Three Essential Tricks and Secrets of Cleaning Vinyl Floors.
Now that you have followed the steps you can clean your vinyl floor and maintain its freshness and its shine.
However, you are not out of the woods just yet, there are few little secrets you can learn to boost your cleaning techniques.
The 10 dirtiest things in your kitchen might or might not surprise you. The list below will make you think twice about how often you use it, clean it or just replace it!
1. Dish Washing Sponge
Your dish washing sponge gets voted the number one for dirtiest things in your kitchen. This warm, wet bacterial collecting kitchen item should be on your shopping list once or twice a week.
Did you know a new study reported by The New York Time says there is no way to sanitize it? Not even the microwave hack kills all the germs from it. In fact, microwaving the sponge makes it worse.
Our recommendation: Throw it in the trash and get a new one!
2. Salt and Pepper Shaker
How often do you wash your salt and pepper shakers? Have you ever? They are among the most touched condiments in your kitchen and we never think of the microcosms living on them.
Before you fill them up again, put them in your dishwasher. Don’t just hand wash them. Hot water must get to a temperature of 140 degrees in order to sterilize, which your dishwasher can easily handle.
In between washing, you can clean outside of them with antibacterial wipes.
Our recommendation: Lysol Disinfecting Wipes
3. Kitchen Handles
While you are wiping down the salt and pepper shakers with your disinfecting wipes, give the dishwasher, refrigerator, cabinets and pantry door handles a wipe down. These are other areas in your kitchen that get touched a lot and should get a quick sanitizer clean.
4. Cooking Utensils
As we said earlier, your dishwasher can easily handle sterilization temperatures over 140 degrees. So if you are hand washing spatulas, whisks, tongs, wooden spoons and other cooking utensils consider using your dishwasher instead.
Our recommendation: Put them in the dishwasher once a month. Use the sterilization setting.
5. Kitchen Sink
Web MD states your toilet bowl could be cleaner than your kitchen sink. Dirty dishes left in the sink are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Eileen Abruzzo, director of infection control at Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn, New York suggests washing it with a solution of bleach and water once a day.
Our recommendation: Don’t leave dirty dishes in your sink overnight. Wipe down with disinfectant wipes.
6. Dish Towel
Of all the towels in your home, these are the dirtiest. When you’re wiping down your kitchen counters you are probably just spreading germs. Experts recommend soaking them in a dilution of bleach and water after each use and to launder them weekly.
Our recommendation: Have a dish towel for each day of the week. Launder once a week on hot water temp and a small amount of bleach.
7. Cutting Board
If the dish washing sponge gets the number one award for the dirtiest things in your kitchen, the cutting board gets awarded number one for cross-contamination. It is a great invention from keeping us from cutting directly onto our countertops, but it turns into a bacterium transferring nightmare.
By not sterilizing your cutting board after cutting up chicken, you run the risk of contaminating any food item that touches that surface.
Is plastic better than wood? Ben Chapman, a food safety researcher at NC State, says not necessarily. He says plastic is easier to cut on but leaves grooves where bacteria can hide. Wood is a hard surface, but difficult to clean.
To clean plastic cutting boards just throw them in the dishwasher. High-heat temperatures and bleach can ruin a wood cutting board. Chapman suggests using quaternary ammonium sanitizer.
Chapman’s recommendation: Use plastic for cutting meats and wood for cutting veggies.
8. Can Opener
Another awesome breeding ground for bacteria is silently sitting in your kitchen drawer. Food and dirt from the can you just opened collect on the blade. A quick rinse under the sink will not destroy all the bacteria on the blade.
The best way to disinfect your can opener is to place it in a bowl and cover it with vinegar. Let sit for a couple of hours. You can use a toothbrush to remove any rust that has built up over time. Do a thorough dry including the gears.
Our recommendation: Disinfect your can opener once a month.
9. Knife Block
You need to sanitize it too! Over time food particles can collect inside the slots and on the wood surface. We recommend you turn it over the sink and give it a good shake. Fill your sink with lukewarm water and a few drops of liquid dish soap and allow to sit for a few minutes. Dr. Oz recommends using a baby-bottle nipple brush to clean out the slots. Finally, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.
10. Coffee Maker
We saved the best for last. At King of Maids, we love our coffee! Nothing better than walking into the office and grabbing a fresh Cup of Joe. But bacteria loves to grow in dark, confined spaces and the reservoir is gold for bacteria and mold growth.
Fill the reservoir with half white vinegar and water. Brew until the post is half full. Stop brewing for 30 minutes. Finish the brewing process and empty the pots. Fill the reservoir with clean water and brew again.
Our recommendation: Clean reservoir once a month.
We’re sorry we had to gross you out. But we take sanitizing a kitchen seriously. We hope these recommendations on how to clean the 10 dirtiest things in your kitchen helps you fight the germ fight!
Today our service quality department decided to create a campaign where each month we will dedicate a few spots and offer free cleanings to customers in exchange for feedback to help keep our services at #1.
Slowly King of Maids will open up this opportunity for customers across all 6 of our locations, however as of today we decided to test this campaign in Houston, Texas with 15 limited spots.
If you are interested in learning more and claiming your free cleaning all you have to do is fill out this form or call us at (800) 921-4334 during our business hours.
King of Maids was started back in 2013 to improve lives of those who run extremely busy schedules and for those who are sick and tired of booking services that provide poor quality service overall.
There is more to a service then walking in the home, performing the job and walking out. We believe it starts the moment we are introduced. The moment someone sees our ads, our website, or our reviews we want someone to feel like they know they will Experience Royalty.
We not only have the best customer service in the industry but we have an online booking software that allows customers to book a cleaning in less than 60 seconds in the middle of the night in their pajamas.
Our software allows you to edit and reschedule your appointments, rate your providers, tip them, earn free cleanings, send gift cards and much more!
If you’re interested in helping us continue providing excellence in our industry you can claim a free cleaning here or call us at (800) 921-4334 to learn more.
Step 3: You’re Done! We pick a winner every Friday and contact you privately on social media. If you’d like we will post your name and photo on our Facebook or Instagram page.
Optional: Inside the caption post a story about your favorite spot. We would love to read and get to know our customers and fans.
“I spend most of my day at my home office. I am an online tutor and every single minute spent with my students brings me joy. @kingofmaids #ExperienceRoyalty”
As of right now this will be an ongoing campaign and we will continue to have it live as long as it is successful. If we receive many participants we will consider increasing the number of winners each week.
Fun Fact: Even if only 50% of winners decided they don’t need a free cleaning and prefer to donate we would raise an extra $3,354.00 in a 12 month period to a charity that needs our help.
Knowing when it’s time to buy a new air conditioner is vital to avoid soaking in sweat during a 110-degree-plus day in Phoenix. Similarly, if your heater fails in mid-January, your toes are going to feel the brunt of it. So, how do you know when it’s time to buy a new HVAC system? The answer is you look for the signs. If you know what you’re looking for far in advance of your HVAC system failing, you’ll be able to prepare accordingly and avoid any downtime.
Continue reading to learn more about the signs that your central air conditioner’s system will show when it starts to fail – both your air conditioner and heater.
Signs Your HVAC System is Failing
If you hear or see one or more of the following signs, be sure to contact a professional HVAC contractor immediately.
Central air conditioning unit installation can be complex. Removing an older, less efficient unit for replacement with a more efficient system can involve changing ductwork and electrical lines.
Humidity: Increasing humidity means your central AC has difficulty removing all the moisture from treated air.
Unexpected noises: Any change in the pattern of sounds coming from your system can indicate that age has caught up with the parts.
Short-cycling: As a central AC system fails, it has trouble keeping up with cooling demands.
Age: Even the best AC systems do not last forever; expect around 15 years of reliable, efficient service before age increases repair costs and repair visits.
Old refrigerant: To help protect our earth’s fragile atmosphere, old refrigerant has been phased out, to be replaced with less destructive R410A refrigerant. Your old system could be harming the air.
Anew central air conditioner is a great investment in your family’scomfort. Your home’s furnishings benefit, too, with the less humid,more finely regulated temperatures. Everyone breathes easier with anew AC system, including you at bill-paying time, when you notice lower energy costs from a more efficient unit.
Furnaces / Heater
Installing a furnace may seem a low priority for residents, but cool nights can remind us all how handy a furnace is to have. If your existing gas furnace is showing these signs, consider replacement:
Age: A system older than 15 years is energy-inefficient.
High gas bills: Large increases in your monthly bills may indicate a system running inefficiently.
Uneven heating: Cold rooms adjacent to overheated rooms signal trouble.
Most heat pumps need replacement between their 10th and 15th years in service. Other warning signs:
Increased frequency of calls for repairs.
Decreased efficiency leading to higher energy bills.
Installing a heat pump is as complicated as installing a central air conditioning unit, and is usually left to professionals heat pump installers with the experience and training to do the work correctly.
If you do need to have your entire HVAC system or one major compoenent replaced, be sure to do your research prior to hiring an air conditioning contractor.
There are good bugs wanted that can help your plants and garden from living a healthy, clean and vibrant life. There are also bad bugs you want to keep out.
Below we have assembled a wanted poster with five good and five bad garden bugs. Keep and share this handy information with your friends and family so everyone will know the bugs wanted versus the bad pest.
Wait! We didn’t just stop at a wanted poster. Read below on how to identify good and bad bugs. We provide tips on how to keep and encourage good bugs as well as exterminating the bad bugs. There are even some green ways to exterminate those nasty pests.
So before you go killing that beetle on your tomato plant, make sure first he’s a foe and not a friend.
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Let’s take a look at the “Good Bugs” first.
The derived Latin word coccinellids means scarlet fitting for this pretty little bug. Most bugs in this family have round to elliptical, dome-shaped bodies with six short legs. Some have spots, stripes or no markings at all. A lady bug is considered a useful and bug wanted.
Loved for their voracious appetite, lady bugs are great at consuming most plant-eating insects and great plant/garden protectors. A ladybug will lay hundreds of eggs within the aphids’ colony. When the ladybug larvae hatch they begin to feed on the aphid colony.
Having decoy plants like marigolds is the best way to attract and keep ladybugs. Plant these in a location away from the plants you are trying to protect. In fact, the decoy plant will act as a continual cycle of aphids and ladybugs. Keep a small, fresh bowl of water in this location to keep ladybugs hydrated or they will leave.
With over 1,200 species of Chrysopidae, they are simply called lacewings or common lacewings. Presently, their range is in North America and Europe. They are typically green in color and have a large wingspan for a bug of this size.
The female will lay about 100 to 200 eggs on the stalk or underside of a plant. Once the larvae molt they begin to feed especially on soft bodied bugs like aphids, caterpillars, and other insect eggs.
Lacewing adults have a sweet tooth. If you want to keep them around have nectar, pollen or honeydew type plants. As a matter of fact, you can order them for your garden. Follow Buglogical recommendations here.
Syrphidae are sometimes called flower flies and are often seen hovering over flowers feeding on pollen and nectar. As a result of their yellow and black coloring, they are commonly mistaken for bees or wasps.
Hoverflies are recognized as an important natural enemy of pests and used in biological pest control against mites, weeds and plant disease organisms. Their larvae (maggots) eat decaying plants and animal matter in the soil. In addition, they are great at eating aphids, thrips and other plant-sucking insects.
Flower size matters when you want to attract and keep hoverflies. They have small mouths and prefer tiny plants. Planting sweet alyssum is a great nectar attractant plant. Moreover, they love yellow and orange bright colored flowers.
With over 40,000 species of ground beetles found in the world, they rank in the top 10 of the largest animal families. Body and shape can vary, but the typical coloring is black or metallic. Their wing cover is rigid and most can’t fly.
Considered a beneficial organism, they are an awesome predator of invertebrates as well as other pests. By devouring their prey in mass, they are great for eating caterpillars, ants, aphids, wireworms, and slugs. A bonus is their love for weeds like ragweed and thistle.
According to Mother Earth News, keep mulched perennial plants, flat stones, and boards as a haven for beetles to rest during the day. You can also collect them from rotting logs and wood piles and relocate them to your garden.
Farmers love damsel bugs because they are predators to many types of crop pests. Their typical color is tan and they have stick-like legs. They can fly, but prefer to run really fast. Damsels use their front legs to grab their prey. They cause no damage to plants.
If you want to attract damsel bugs, they love low growing grass and ground cover. Consider collecting them from alfalfa fields and releasing them in your garden. They love the sun between the months of June and August. Don’t be alarmed if you see one eating the other. Strangely enough, they will turn into cannibals if they can’t find anything else to eat.
So now that you know the good bugs you want to keep alive in your yard and garden, let’s take a look at the “Bad Bugs” you want dead.
They have an insatiable appetite and are one of the most serious agricultural pests. Most of this damage happens in their caterpillar stage versus their moth stage. They can destroy complete fields of fruit and produce.
Many a gardener has woken to find their garden completely destroyed in just a few days. For this reason, they are number one on the bag bud hit list
The best way to eradicate caterpillars is to have a healthy environment for birds. Provide places where birds can take cover from the elements. In fact, twiggy shrubs and small trees make great nesting areas. You can also keep a fresh bird bath. Just don’t let the water become stagnant or it will attract mosquitoes. Ladybugs are also known to eat caterpillars.
They are too small to detect, but you’ll know you have them when your yard has bare patches all over. They feed on the stems of turf-grass. The difference between drought and chinch bugs is the look of the brown spots. Chinch bugs will eat the grass causing a circular bare spot that will continue to grow larger. By and large, they will do the most damage in June, July, and August. They love hot, sunny weather.
The quickest way to get rid of chinch bugs is applying insecticide products. At this point, consult your lawn and garden specialist when using chemicals. If you want a natural solution, you can follow WikiHow’s instructions using a soap treatment.
This clumsy beetle causes plant damage by skeletonizing the foliage. Native to Japan they were thought to have entered the U.S. in a container of iris bulbs. Regrettably, America provided the perfect environmental conditions for the proliferation of this pest.
Besides eating the leaf of plants, it also eats the roots of grass. They also lay their eggs in grass and larvae feed once they hatch.
The USDA created a biological control powder and made it commercially available as a pest control. Some have used traps, but researchers say these cause more damage and attract even more to the area. If you want a natural pesticide, check out Fine Gardening use of cedar oil.
The name is confusing since they are technically a caterpillar. They get their name by eating the stem of the grass and cutting it down. Some stay on the fallen grass until it is completely consumed while others will move to a new blade. They are considered wasteful feeders.
They winter under the soil in larvae or pupae stages. This gives farmers a chance to kill them by plowing them up and exposing them to predators.
Dusk is the best time to find them under cloudy conditions. They tend to curl when they are not moving. People often mistake them for slugs and vice versa.
Here are some natural tips for garden eviction. You can hand pick them and place in soapy water. This is a bit time-consuming. Sprinkle coffee grinds and eggshells around your plants. At the end of your garden season, plow or till the entire area.
This pest is mostly nocturnal and found on all continents except Antarctica. There’s a myth about them crawling in your ear and laying eggs. This is completely unfounded. They will, however, do incredible garden and plant damage. They have forcep-like pinchers on their abdomen. Females display maternal instincts uncommon in the insect world. They will protect their eggs until the hatch.
We’ve placed them last on the deadly list because they do eat bad garden best too. The problem is they like to eat everything. They don’t discriminate when it comes to food consumption.
One natural way to kill them is to fill cat food or tuna fish cans with ¼ inch oil. Sink them into the ground near plants. Empty them out daily and refill.
Now that you know the bugs wanted versus the bad, ugly bugs, you can keep a healthy, clean and successful garden.