Microwave Cleaning Made Simple

So a couple TV dinners have went off like a hand grenade in your microwave, and you’ve tried everything but a belt sander to remedy this mess. Have no fear here are a few quick, and easy tips to get your microwave back to respectability.

You’ll need a few things:

  • A microwave safe cup, or coffee mug
  • One oven mitt
  • One spray bottle of all purpose cleaner
  • One Scotch-Brite pad
  • A few dry towels

First open your microwave. Wow what a mess! Now don’t bust your fingernails to get this problem solved. First fill your microwave safe cup, or mug with regular old tap water. Fill the cup to about 3/4.

Place the cup, or mug on the carousel plate, close the microwave door, and heat it for about five to six minutes. Just do it at regular power. What we want is to cause the water to come to a boil, and loosen the debris with steam. If you need more time then 5 minutes, go for it. Just be careful because upon completion this mug, or cup is going to be hotter than any gaming console on black Friday.

5 minutes later your microwave should have run its cycle, and be done. Open the door, and you will feel the steam if you have done this step properly.

Next grab you oven mitt, place in on your hand, and carefully remove the extremely hot cup; we don’t want your palm to be branded with “World Greatest Dad”. Just place it in the sink for now, and let it cool on it own. Do not run cold water over the cup, as it could crack.

Remove your oven mitt. Then remove the carousel plate, and track from the microwave. Place them in the sink as well, and pickup your all purpose sprayer. Set the sprayer to a wide angle spray, and give the interior of the microwave a little spritz. Three or four sprays will be plenty.

Moving forward pick up your Scotch-Brite pad, and scrub away at the interior of the microwave. Not much force should have to be expelled for this process, as the steam should have done most of the grunt work. In this process the microwave cleaning will seem like your making more of a mess. Don’t worry about that your just trying to loosen up any grease or build up.

Next grab a few dry towels, and wipe away all the muck that you have now created. Try and get the majority of this muck out of the microwave prior to proceeding to the next step.

Alright there is a light at the end of this microwave now, or maybe your microwave light was covered in grease prior, and your now just being able to see it. Again grab your all purpose sprayer, and give the microwave another three to four shots.

Now take a few more dry rags, and complete the cleaning of the microwave interior. Make sure the microwave is completely dry.

Your microwave should look like new again. If you notice paint that has chipped away that you couldn’t see before, or bare metal that is exposed it may be time for a new microwave. More than likely your microwave is now clean as a whistle proceed.

Now go back to the sink, and wash your carousel plate with just plain old dish soap and water. Do the same for the circular track if you have one. Dry these items off, and place them back in the microwave. Your cup, or mug should be cool enough now to bring it back to a safe temperature with luke warm.  Wash it up and you are done.






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How to Clean Walls Quickly

There is a much more difficult way to clean walls, which include grabbing a bucket, rag, ladder, and scrubbing away; but today I am going to talk about how to clean walls quickly.

[sociallocker]Now if you have years of cigarette stain build up, or your children have made a Jackson Pollock style mural with spaghetti sauce, on your walls, this may not be the method for you. I will soon write another article on how to clean walls that are in really bad shape, but for now lets just assume your walls fall somewhere in between.

Okay so your going to need a few tools to really show these walls who’s boss

  • One Microfiber Flat Mop (The wider the head the better)
  • A few extra microfiber covers for the flat mop
  • Some mild all purpose cleaner
  • A package of Magic Eraser (A truly amazing invention)
  • A ladder that will allow the top of your head to be within about 5ft from the ceiling
  • A few dry rags
  • Two buckets, or a double rinse bucket (This means a bucket with two compartments)
  • A good old broom

Step One: Prep the wall

So in order to clean the walls fast, your going to need to be able to clean the wall without any obstruction, or obstacles. Take any pictures, wall hangings, or knick-knacks of the sort you may have off of the wall.

Now  make sure you remove any nails or screws, that may be protruding from the surface of the wall. These become great snags as we move further in the wall washing.

Next take your broom, and remove any cobwebs, or surface dust that may be built up on the wall. Use your ladder to hit an of those hard to reach areas. As always be careful on the ladder. Your dirty walls will become irrelevant when you are nursing a concussion dished out by your bamboo floor.

Step Two: Mix the solution

There are mixtures available online that are specifically designed for walls, but in most cases a mild all purpose cleaner will do the trick. A good ratio to use is about one cup of solution per gallon of water. If you have concerns about using all purpose cleaner, check with your paint manufacturer just to be safe.

Now you will either have two buckets, or a double rinse bucket which is just a bucket with two compartments. Fill both buckets with about one gallon of tap water. Luke warm water will suffice.

Next add about one cup of your cleaner to one of the buckets. Voila you now have a solution bucket, and a rinse bucket.

Step Three: Clean the walls

Grab your microfiber flat mop. Dip your microfiber flat mop cover in your solution bucket, and wring the flat mop cover out to about a medium dampness. You don’t want the flat mop cover sopping wet, as you are sure to create a mess and possibly leave drip marks on your walls.

Put your flat mop cover, on your mop, and apply the flat mop to the bottom of your wall where the corner and the baseboard  meet. This is important. You do not want to start at the top of your wall cleaning. This is because when water drips from the mop it will run down the wall, and again could leave a mark. So work your way up the wall.

I usually clean from the bottom to the top, in about 5ft sections; moving my flat mop from left to right, then right to left, overlapping each pass by about 3-4 inches. “Side to side” as Mr. Miyagi would say.

Be sure to check for mop head frequently, as once it becomes soiled it really has an adverse effect. If you noticed that your mop head is soiled, remove it, rinse it in the rinse bucket, then reapply the cleaner via your solution bucket, and wring it out again.

So after some grunt work you’ve completed your first 5ft section, but you have 15ft of dirty wall left; if you like that abstract look rock on, and let your creativity shine. If you kind of want whole wall to be clean, then repeat the process, in 5ft sections, until you meet the corner of the other wall.

Step Four: The finishing touches

Now take a step back and look at your wall. Look for any marks that may become evident now that your wall is clean. These could come from your chairs, crayons etc.

Dampen your Magic Eraser, and erase those blemishes from existence. After words you may want to apply some solution to one of your dry rags, wring it out, and give those detail spots, or areas your flat mop couldn’t fit a final swipe.

Step Five: Let it dry

It shouldn’t take to long to dry as your rags were all relatively damp. About 10 minutes should be sufficient. While your waiting start prepping your next wall. When the wall is dry to touch rehang your pictures, knick-knacks, and wall hangings. Presto your done. Enjoy your clean wall. [/sociallocker]



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Getting Your Shower Really Clean

So to perform this daunting task your going to need a few tools.

    A spray bottle of Tilex, or comparable cleaner
    One toothbrush
    One green Scotch-Brite pad
    One scrub brush
    A medium sized cup
    One can of Ajax, or Comet
    5 to 6 clean rags

Step one: Prepare to Clean

When undertaking any cleaning task, the cleaner with grit first prepares the area. This is so they can clean efficiently, and do a stellar job.

In this case, the shower, you must first remove huge arsenal of conditioners, fancy shampoos, razor blades, and funky contraptions that are meant to hit those hard to reach places on you back.

Next turn on the faucet, and fill up your empty cup. Use this cup to rinse any hair, or debris away that may be present. Also try and place the cup against the wall of the shower to regulate the pace in which you rinse.

After rinsing let the tub drain, and use a rag to remove the debris from the drain grate.

Next plug the empty tub up, and turn the faucet back on. Fill the tub with about 3 cups of warm water.

Now take your spray bottle of Tilex, or comparable cleaner, and set it to a wide spray. Spray bottle in hand start at the top of the shower, and coat the interior walls with cleaner. Do this until you hit the floor of you shower, or the top of the tub itself. You may want to wear a mask during this process, as these cleaners tend to be very harsh.

Finally pick up your cleanser, and sprinkle a good amount on the bottom of the tub. If you notice a lot of soap scum, a little more cleanser won’t hurt. It will just require more rinsing in the later steps.

So now your tub is prepped. You can let all of the chemical sit for a few minutes. This will help them start to work. If you don’t have a mask, opening a window, or turning on the overhead fan will help.

Step Two: A Time to Scrub

Your shower is now ready to be cleaned. Mildew, and soap scum will cower from the elbow grease you are about to expel.

Now grab your Scotch-Brite pad, and start at the bottom of the tub. Create a mixture between the cleanser, and water sitting at the bottom of the tub. Use this mixture to work in circular motions all the way up one wall of the tub, and shower at a time.

Don’t try to be pretty during this step. The shower, shower doors, faucet, fixtures,  and the tile work should be covered in a thick soapy mess.

Now this scrubbing has a little bit of art to it. You should be able to feel the resistance of the scrubby pad against the tub when there is soap scum present. When the area is clean the pad will glide smoothly across any surface.

Step Three: The Nooks and Crannies

Alright now we are going to hit those hard to reach places like the grout lines, shower door seals, knobs, trim, and the details of the faucet.

Keep using your soapy mess during this step. The scrub brush works best on grout lines, while the toothbrush is ideal for those hard to reach areas like the bottom corner of your shower door trimming. There’s no real science here just loosen us the dirt, and work your cleaners into the finer areas of the shower.

Step Four: The Rinse and Repeat

We are almost done. Now if you  have one of those multiple setting removable shower heads with the cord, you are all the worlds envy; as you will blow through this step, and laugh at us rinsing with the little cup.

So the rinse and repeat, basically rinse the show completely from top to bottom. Be careful not to saturate the floor. The cleanser may also be somewhat difficult to drain. If you have problems try dampening one of your rags, and wiping it from the bottom of the tub.

This is an important step. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the entire shower, or else it will dry looking worse than when you had started.

Step Five: Dry It Out

Now during this step, grab your last few rags,  dry the shower completely, and buff out any imperfections. This drying process inhibits mold growth; because mold loves warm, and damp environments; but also it stops the tub, and shower doors from looking streaky, or spotty. Here is a little hint a few splashes of Windex never hurt during this step. Finally enjoy your clean shower, and don’t forget to put your arsenal of shampoo bottles back, as your husband, or wife are bound to forget how beautiful your shower looks when they trip on the Suave.

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How to Clean Carpeted Stairs

Cleaning carpeted stairwells can be a real pain; especially if you have pets. Cat, and dog hair tends to build in the seams of the steps, and be nearly impossible to vacuum. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your steps up to par.

Say goodbye to the turbo brushes, and nifty infomercial gadgets.

Most them do not work, and frankly are a waste of money. The problem with turbo brushes is they are air driven. Which means they posses no powered motor. The brush rotates based upon suction provided from the vacuums motor.

Its a good concept, but most vacuums just don’t generate the water lift, or suction necessary to provide good agitation on the carpet. The result is the brush roll bogging out on high pile carpeting, and really just wasting your time.

The old school dirt devil hand vac

Now any hand vac will do a decent job cleaning the center of the step. This is because the belt, and brush roll is motor driven. Still its kind of hard to really get into the carpet edges with these pieces of equipment, and really get all the pet hair out.

The one dollar fix…

A scrub brush, or pet brush. Prior you vacuuming, or using any attachment and hose on your steps, start at the top step, and vigorously use the scrub brush to pull the pet hair out of the carpeting.

Follow this procedure until you reach the bottom step. Then use the vacuum cleaners hose to capture all of the debris collected. Finally use your hand vac, or vacuum cleaner hose to work your way back up the stairwell, and give the steps that finishing touch.

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Professional House Cleaning Services Are Only For the Wealthy. We Think Not!

house cleaning serviceHouse cleaning services have long since been regarded as a service for only the wealthy. I used to believe this statement. My idea of a maid resembled Alice from the Brady Bunch, and I believed only families with six children and an architect father with a passion for bell-bottoms needed a house cleaning service, or a maid.

After working for Moxie Maids house cleaning service in Ohio for two years, my perception of what a house cleaning service is and who uses them has changed. I have had the luxury of meeting hundreds of new clients personally, and communicating with them about their homes, lives, and needs on a daily basis. What has shocked me personally is their is no true demographic to the house cleaning industry. I’ve seen age ranges from 17 and buying a gift for their parents to 95 and just unable to keep up anymore.

Sure in certain income brackets there appears to be a higher percentage of clientele, but what has amazed me is how gray those bracketed areas have truly become in 2011. Again in order to understand why so many people are now using maid services here in Northeast Ohio and abroad I had to change my perception of what maid service were.

A former employer of mine once told me perception is reality. It took years for that really to sink in with me and to truly understand the wisdom of that statement. How we perceive things creates the world in which surrounds us. Perception affects our decisions, our relationships, and our careers. Perception affected me and my viewpoint on house cleaning services. I perceived maid services to be a luxury service, and costly. Since this was my perception it was also my reality.

As consumers, we buy something when the perceived value rises one dollar above the actual cost. So really the reason I had felt this way was because i didn’t see a value in having a house cleaning service. I thought “i’m not lazy and I am not paying to have someone to do house cleaning”. I thought that their were much wiser investments that could be made.

So you may ask. Why do you work for a house cleaning service then?  In 2007, My mother and wife had expressed an interest in starting a house cleaning service small scale. I agreed to help them market the company. Initially with my convoluted perception of what a cleaning service was and who uses them, I didn’t truly believe we would launch a successful local company.

Almost immediately after starting the company a call came through for Moxie Maids first job. We had no maids working for us at that point, and all three of us huddled up and set forth on our first real job. Our first customer was a young lady in her late 20′s. She worked for the state. She wasn’t wealthy. Her home wasn’t a mansion. It was very nice, but by all standards it was a typical three bedroom two bathroom home.  She had explained to us how she was behind in her duties at home, and felt overwhelmed between her job  and the remodeling going on in her home. She also had a group of Jack Russell terriers who shed all over her beautiful hardwood floors.

Over the next 3 hrs we performed the first Moxie Maids Deep Cleaning ever. A deep cleaning is an initial cleaning very comparable to a spring cleaning. 3 hrs later her home was sparkling.After I had took a few steps back and looked at the final result and was blown away by our work. The house just looked so peaceful, and clean.

Within a few minutes our first customer came home It felt like Extreme Home Makeover or something. I myself wanted to shout “move that bus”. That being said,  the reaction of our first customer still shocked me. She took one step into her home looked around and began to cry. These were good tears though. She had been so overwhelmed she just wanted to be able to come home and relax and hadn’t been able to until then. With the pressures of everyday life she was behind on her home. She smiled and thanked us all and asked for use to come back once a month thereafter so she could stay ahead of the game.

Following that cleaning Moxie Maids began to grow into one of the largest Maid Services in Northeast Ohio. Still there in that anecdote our company found its purpose, and my perception began to change. I had a chance to see that many blue collar families and white collar families alike are turning to maid services to free up time for them and their loved ones. The cleaning service industry is growing by an astounding 9% a year. Its one of the fastest growing industries today. It employs countless numbers of people across the United States.

Too many people are bludgeoned by the stresses of a hectic day to day life, in this economy, and have little time to maintain their home. Along these last two years of running a company I have needed to employ the services of my own crews to maintain my home. My perception of maid services now is that its not only affordable (often less than your cable bill) it a wonderful stress reducer. Its a wonderful feeling to come home and see everything done at once. Not in segments. Its nice to come home  and have more time to spend with my children. Its nice to have a few less items on the ever growing to do list. There in lies the heart of our house cleaning company. We’re not just creating clean homes, we’re creating time.



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