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Getting rid of a pest infestation in the home can be an expensive and stressful endeavor. Enjoy a comfortable, pest-free home with a few best practices.
Moving into a new house will require a little bit of cleaning and the kitchen is probably the first place to start. You will want to get rid of the former resident's cooking smells as well as make it reflect your personal taste because you and your family will spend a lot of time. Here are a few tips on cleaning the kitchen in your new home.
- Clean the Oven and Stove - Take a look inside your oven, and if it’s needed, use an oven-cleaner. The solution should take about 20 to 30 minutes to work, giving you the time you need to clean the rest of the stove. Be sure to check under the hood and make use of a grease remover if the regular cleaners aren't working well enough at getting off the grease out. After cleaning the top and front of the stove, move it away from the wall and then wash its backside. You should also clean the sides too, as well as the front panel and temperature dials.
- Clean the Fridge - Having cleaned the stove and oven, you can now tackle the refrigerator. While likely cleared out by the previous owners, nevertheless, it's always a good idea to clean it thoroughly. A thorough cleaning means removing the drawers and bins and cleaning them out. You should wash the inside walls and shelves too, removing everything that can be removed and soaking it in the sink separately. If the fridge sat disconnected from power, scrub the inside and clean it carefully if it needs it. If it hasn’t been unplugged, then you should do that and let it warm up a little before scrubbing it, as this will make it easier. A soft cloth works perfectly at wiping down, as anything tougher will scratch the surface. Be sure to clean beneath the fridge, as well as the top and sides too.
- Clean the Floors - If your new home already came with a carpet installed, you should probably hire professional cleaners to steam clean them before you and your family move in. Where that won’t be possible for you, a thorough vacuum will probably suffice. Confirm from the previous owners if they had any pets, so you know how to take precautions against possible fleas, particularly if you are moving with pets of your own. Where the floors are wooden or faux wood, thoroughly sweep the floor, cleaning the underside of heating vents and all stationary appliances.
When you finish, you can take a well-deserved break to go say hello to your new neighbors.
Regardless of how clean your home looks, and how often you use the disinfectant wipe, those sneaky little germs still hide in your home. Of course, some surfaces always have germs simply because multiple people handle them throughout the day. These include faucets, outlets, and switch-plate covers, doorknobs and stair railings. You know to wipe these down, especially in cold and 'flu' season.
No matter how clean you are, though, some germs, fungi or bacteria hide in unsuspected places. A study by NSF International (an independent public health organization) points to dangerous Salmonella, Coliform, E. coli, and even human fecal matter on innocent-appearing surfaces in the average home. Other studies revealed Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus, and even streptococcus hiding in plain sight. When you’re making up your housekeeping to-do list, consider giving these items special attention to root out the nasty bugs hiding in your house:
- Toothbrushes and toothbrush holder: If your toothbrush holder sets on the bathroom counter, microscopic droplets can land on it after every toilet flush, depositing bacteria and yeast fungi. The NSF study also showed toothbrush holders harbor mold too.
- Hand and bath towels: Surveys show most people do not change their hand or bath towels as often as they should. Testing reveals towels harbor E. coli after only two days.
- Lavatory faucet handles: Just think about it, you use the restroom, then touch the fixture with your dirty hands. Even after you wash them, if you use your hands to turn off the faucet you just re-deposit the germs back onto your hands. Lever-style faucets allow you to turn them off with an elbow or arm, but for the best option, think about installing hands-free faucets.
- Kitchen sink: One of the most essential surfaces in your home, the kitchen sink harbors both mold and bacteria. For best results, disinfect your sink and garbage disposal two to three times each week.
- Dish sponges or rags: When you use a cloth or sponge, you might just be wiping more germs back onto the surface than you remove. Change dishcloths frequently and clean sponges in the dishwasher or microwave.
- Countertops: (see above)
- Cutting boards: Food particles remain on wood or bamboo cutting boards, and any boards that develop grooves. Always wash off cutting boards, and periodically clean them with disinfectant or a bleach solution.
- Tea or coffee maker: Most avid coffee or tea-drinkers clean the carafe between brews, but germs can hide in and around the basket holding the grounds or drip/espresso mechanisms. If water sits in a reservoir, it can breed germs too. Periodically run a mild bleach solution (1 ounce of bleach to 1 gallon of water) through your brewing machines.
- Pet bowls: No matter what myth you've heard about dogs' mouths having fewer germs than humans, a pet's dish can test positive for salmonella and E. coli even if you cleaned it in the dishwasher.
We live with germs all the time, but sometimes we don’t notice them or the odors they carry. If you’re preparing your home for sale, consider hiring a professional house cleaner to give your home the best showing.
Keep your outdoor surfaces in tip-top shape all year long with these care tips:
Bricks are known for their durability but still need to be maintained and cared for. They key here is to be gentle with your cleaning methods as they can wear down and become compromised by the chemicals found in typical household cleaners.
Have you ever noticed how some bricks have a white, chalky residue to them? It’s messy, unappealing and 100% preventable. All you have to do is check labels in Winter time! When shopping for deicer avoid those made with calcium chloride.
Stay on top of culling plants growing between bricks. Where there are plants there is more moisture which will inevitably lead to loosening your bricks. Cut plants that begin growing. They will die quickly and easily pull up. Easily remove moss with a mixture of one part bleach to 10 parts hot water
If for whatever reason you find you need to clean brick only use a masonry specific cleaner and scrub gently when using. If there are stains on your bricks you will need a poultice made specifically for masonry staining.
Concrete is another outdoor surface known for its durability but that doesn’t mean it’s invincible. Caring for concrete is similar to the needs of brick.
Clean up oil spills by allowing cat litter to sit on the spot overnight. Repeat until the stain is no longer “pulling” from the litter. If there is a stain left behind a poultice may be necessary (just like with bricks). You will also use the same 1:10 bleach mixture to remove moss from concrete as you would with bricks.
However, when it comes to deicer you will want to avoid a different set of ingredients. Those made with ammonium nitrate or sulfate can break down concrete and so best to be avoided. If you do you gardening in your garage, or your shed has concrete flooring you’ll want to be cautious with fertilizer. Wet fertilizer can actually lead to staining on concrete.
To avoid staining there are preemptive measures you can take. Seal concrete helps to make it stain resistant. And to keep it on top form you clean your favorite household all-purpose cleaner and a good scrub.
Wood is the more high maintenance surface to care for. Wood needs to be sealed yearly. You may find you will need to sand off an existing finish from the previous homeowners before applying a new one. Apply a preservative or stain to protect from moisture and rot.
Clean wood surfaces by scrubbing clean and manage stains with oxalic acid crystals. Powdered oxygen bleach is best used to eliminate existing mold and it’s spores. Know that you may have to do this process a couple of times to take care of the spores for good.
Although you may commit substantial time and resources to clean your home, it may prove to be exceedingly difficult to keep your residence looking spectacular day after day. However, with a home cleaning service at your disposal, you can employ friendly, skilled cleaning professionals to ensure your home will dazzle consistently.
Each home cleaning service is different, and you'll want to know what to ask each professional cleaning company before you hire one. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the process of hiring a professional cleaning company – here are three questions to ask a home cleaning business.
1. Are you insured and bonded?
When it comes to finding a professional cleaning service, employing a company that provides peace of mind is essential. Thus, if you hire an insured and bonded home cleaning service, you can rest easy knowing that your property and belongings are protected when cleaning professionals visit your residence.
An insured and bonded home cleaning company offers protection in the event that your property is damaged or any of your belongings go missing during a home cleaning. Therefore, you'll know that you are working with a proven home cleaning company that goes the extra mile to safeguard its clients if you choose a professional cleaning service that is insured and bonded.
2. Do you guarantee your services?
Is a home cleaning company open to feedback and suggestions? If not, you may want to search elsewhere for support, and for good reason.
Typically, a professional cleaning company will guarantee its service if its staff feels confident that it can deliver the best support possible during every home cleaning visit.
On the other hand, a home cleaning business that fails to offer guarantees may leave you high and dry. And if this company makes mistakes along the way, you might be stuck dealing with the consequences of these errors.
3. How do you establish your rates?
No one should be forced to break their budget to hire a professional cleaning company. Fortunately, you can find out exactly what it costs to clean a single room in your house or your entire residence if you ask about a home cleaning company's rates.
Usually, a professional cleaning company will be open about its rates and explain exactly what it offers as part of its service packages. In some instances, a home cleaning business may even provide discounts if you agree to multiple cleaning appointments or refer other customers as well.
Understand exactly what types of cleaning services you need so you can find a home cleaning company that will be able to offer the right support. By doing so, you'll be able to shop around for professional cleaning services in your area and find one that matches your budget perfectly.
Devote the necessary time and resources to find a professional cleaning company to enhance the quality and appearance of your residence. With a top-notch home cleaning business at your side, you can improve your house in no time at all.