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Modesto, CA Maintain a Clean Home All Year Round

Modesto, CA Home Improvement Guide


Household Cleaning
House Cleaning; Carpet, Rug & Upholstery Cleaners; Floor Waxing Polishing & Cleaning; Window Cleaning; Janitorial Supplies

Few people really enjoy cleaning but it is a necessary process for keeping your home looking neat and organized. A clean, beautiful home keeps the occupants happy and creates a cozy atmosphere to live in. A clean house however, does not require an all-day effort, several days a week. Employing a few simple tips and schedules ensures that smaller tasks done each day keep the house continually clean.

Occasionally, more extensive cleaning is required during key portions of the year. Dedicating deeper cleaning tasks to certain times of the year ensures often forgotten areas do not become excessively dirty and unmanageable. Learn what should be done during spring and fall timeframes allowing you to keep up on the bigger cleaning jobs. Encountering a few stains along the way is inevitable. Luckily there are some tried and true methods for eliminating them from your home. Discover a few tips that keep your house looking stain free and sparkling clean.


Getting Started
House-Cleaning; Janitors Equipment & Supplies; Department Stores

While everyone enjoys a clean home, few enjoy the work it takes to make it that way. You can spend all day cleaning just to find it needs more work only hours after you finished. Keeping up on household cleaning is an ongoing process but it doesn’t have to be a daunting one. Apply a few tips to stay on top of the cleaning with a little less time and effort.

Establish a Cleaning Schedule
Instead of spending the entire day cleaning the entire house, break up the work across the week. Establish a schedule that requires a little effort everyday versus all of the effort in one day. This prevents the work from becoming a daunting chore and allows you to enjoy the benefits of seeing a cleaner home all throughout the week.

Take inventory of the rooms that need to be cleaned and determine the trouble spots that make the house look cluttered and untidy. Create a schedule that focuses on the bedrooms on Tuesdays, the bathrooms on Wednesdays and the kitchen on Fridays. Rotate the schedule each week to break up any monotony.

Assemble Cleaning Supplies
Gather the necessary cleaning supplies and place them in a container that is easily be carried from room to room. This saves time, eliminating the need to travel back and forth to the cleaning cabinet multiple times. Having everything you need in one portable container ensures everything you need is at your fingertips.

Make sure the products you use are ideal for the cleaning situation. Using the right products for the job saves you time and effort. A large number of products are not necessary and an occasional heavy duty cleaner is required to handle a tougher job. Standard cleaning supplies should include: hand scrubbers, sponges, deep cleaning brushes, furniture polish, glass cleaner, disinfectant, degreaser, soap scum remover, and an abrasive cleaner. Learn what products are safe to use on the counters, floors, fixtures and surfaces in your home. Discovering what cleaners are most effective for you home keeps it looking clean and new.

Start at the Top
When cleaning any room, start at the top and work your way down. Begin by dusting taller cabinets, draperies, door frames, mirrors, etc. Save the vacuuming and floor cleaning to the end. This captures everything that fell during cleaning and prevents the need to clean anything twice.

Stay Focused
Avoid easy distractions that take you off task and push you in a different direction. If the telephone is a major distraction, take it off the hook for a limited time. Prevent yourself from changing direction mid-task by writing a list of chores prior to starting. It is easy begin one task and switch to another mid-stream. Don’t leave the bathroom unfinished because you took a glass into the kitchen and noticed the dishes needed to be done. Remain focused and ensure one job is completed before moving on to another.

Listen to Music
Make the job less tedious by enjoying your favorite music as you work. Upbeat music keeps you energized, in a positive mood and motivated to complete the task.

De-clutter
As you clean each room, de-clutter along the way. Keeping rooms clutter free makes them look tidy as well as easier to clean. Remove excess junk and piles and eliminate anything you don’t really need.

Get Help
Recruit family members to take a part in the weekly cleaning. After all, most likely they helped contribute to the mess. Assign them specific tasks that they need to complete each week.


Cleaning Tips
House Cleaning; Carpet, Rug & Upholstery Cleaners

Knowing how to tackle a problem is half of the battle. Discover a few cleaning tips that keep the areas of your house looking cleaner.

Tile Grout
Many tile owners swear by the cleaning power of powdered oxygen bleach to renew grout lines. When mixed with water, the powder produces oxygen ions that dig into the grout and release the dirt. Let it soak on stubborn stains and then rinse with water.

Mold and Mildew
These are removed using a mixture of chlorine bleach and water. For tougher stains, apply the chlorine bleach directly. Make sure the area is well ventilated and you wear a mask when applying. Rinse the area thoroughly to remove any remaining bleach. Avoid using bleach on colored grout areas as it removes the pigment.

Wood Floors
As water is an enemy, wood floors should optimally be cleaned by hand, cleaning a smaller surface at a time and drying immediately. A solution of apple cider vinegar and warm water is ideal.

Windows
Clean dirtier windows with a combination of vinegar and water. Add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar to a gallon of water. Clear off the solution using old newspapers or paper towels.

Window Sills
Remove spots and stains by rubbing the surface with .

Wood Furniture
A natural furniture polish is made by combining olive oil and lemon juice. Apply the solution with a cotton rag.

Wax Build-Up
To remove the build-up sometimes left by furniture polish, clean the area with a solution of one cup vinegar, one cup water. Thoroughly wring out the cloth prior to applying and dry immediately after application.

Dusting Blinds
Use a damp fabric softener dryer sheet to remove dust and static. This also works to clean TVs and computer screens.

Barbeque Grills
Use baking soda to clean and remove rust. Apply using a steel wool pad.

Copper and Brass
Clean with a solution of ½ vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt.


Spring Cleaning
House Cleaning; Carpet, Rug & Upholstery Cleaners; Floor Waxing, Polishing & Cleaning; Window Cleaning

After a winter of closed doors and windows, the house is ready for a good cleaning and airing. Plan to tackle certain jobs in the spring and leave others to the fall. This ensures key areas are maintained and avoids the burn out that often occurs from tackling too much at one time.

Refrigerators
Just as the wardrobe changes from winter to summer, so do the type of foods stored in the refrigerator. Spring is an excellent time to completely clean the refrigerator and get rid of older items. Remove all of the food and empty all of the drawers and shelves. Clean the surfaces using a homemade cleaner of salt and soda water or a household antibacterial cleaner. Remove the drawers and wash them thoroughly in the sink.

Freezer
While you are cleaning the refrigerator, also take the time to clean out the freezer. Place all of the food items in the sink during cleaning and throw away any food that is old or freezer burnt. Clean the shelves and surfaces using the same cleaner. Make sure to also clean the ice trays or automatic ice maker drawer.

Windows
Clean interior windows using a household glass cleaner and a soap and water solution for outside windows. Invest in a squeegee to make outer windows easier to clean. Remove the screens and clean them using the garden hose or a scrap of carpeting which loosens the debris.

Walls
At least once a year, interior walls should be cleaned to remove stains, grease, hair spray, smoke residue and other elements that adhere to the surface. It is not necessary to clean the entire wall surface. Focus on the stained areas to make the task less daunting. Start from the baseboards and work your way upward. This prevents streaking caused by water running down the surface of the wall. A standard solution of 1 cup ammonia, 1 gallon of water and 1 teaspoon of dish soap works on painted walls and wallpaper. Avoid excessive scrubbing as it can remove the paint or wallpaper. Also avoid excessive scrubbing or wetness around wallpaper seams.

Kitchen Faucets
Remove built up lime deposits by soaking several paper towels in vinegar and wrapping them around the fixture. Let it sit for over an hour and clean as usual.

Dryer Ducts
Remove the duct from the back of the dryer and vacuum out excess lint. This cleans out the duct, preventing a possible fire and ensures it is working efficiently. Fully replace the duct every two years in lieu of cleaning it. As they are inexpensive this ensures it never gets excessively dirty and safety is maximized.

Draperies
Give the drapes a dusting by placing them in the dryer along with a damp towel. Run them both through the air cycle for 15 minutes. The damp towel pulls the dust out of the drapes and fluffs up the drapes giving them a clean, fresh look. Be sure to re-hang them immediately after the cycle is completed.

Bedding
Freshen blankets, comforters, duvets, and pillows by hanging them out on the clothesline for a day. This allows them to air out and release any stale odors.


Fall Cleaning
House Cleaning; Carpet, Rug & Upholstery Cleaners; Floor Waxing, Polishing & Cleaning; Window Cleaning

As the weather starts to turn cold, prepare the house by including a few additional deep cleaning efforts. This ensures the house is looking great just in time for parties and get togethers with family and friends.

Carpet
Depending on the amount of traffic your carpet receives, it is a good idea to have it cleaned once a year. Cleaning the carpets in the fall gets them ready for the season when the most entertaining occurs.

Light Fixtures
You’ll be amazed at the amount of dirt and dust lighting accumulates during the year. Take time in the fall to remove glass covers and polish lighting fixtures. Larger fixtures and chandeliers should be cleaned where they are using a step stool or ladder. A damp cloth sprayed with window cleaner gets them looking shinny and new.

Draperies
While you aired them out in the spring, use the fall timeframe to check them for dirt. If they are excessively dirt, take them down and have them cleaned. Be sure to check the label to verify if they can be washed in the washer or if they need to be professionally dry cleaned.

Kitchen Appliances
This is a great time to give the kitchen appliances a deeper cleaning. Thoroughly clean the oven and stovetop following manufacturer’s instruction. Self-cleaning ovens makes the job a little easier. Remove the racks, heating elements and dials and soak them in the sink.

Kitchen Cabinets
Remove the dishes and other contents to wipe down both the inside and outside of cabinets. Take off excess grease and grim that occurs from cooking. Check cabinet surfaces for stains and wipe them down and polish the surface. While you are removing the contents, take the time to de-clutter and get rid of any dishes, bakeware or items you no longer use or have need for.

Refrigerator and Freezer
Just like in the spring, fall is an excellent time to clean out the refrigerator again. As this is the most frequently used appliance, it is good to keep it thoroughly clean. Especially due to the amount of food odors and spills that are likely to occur. Follow the same process to get the refrigerator and freezer ready for the winter timeframe as well.

China and Silverware
As the holidays are approaching, take time at the start of fall to clean and polish the dishes and silverware. This eliminates the need to stay up late several nights prior to the first party to get it done. Complete this task in early and they will be clean and ready for the holidays.

Furniture
Remove furniture cushions and thoroughly vacuum sofas, chairs, and love seats. Check the cushions for the need to be spot cleaned. Also, move the furniture from their position and thoroughly vacuum the area underneath them as well.


Removing Tough Stains
Janitors Equipment & Supplies; Department Stores

Occasionally, you’ll come across a stain that is difficult to remove. Most common stains are removed using a certain solution, elbow grease and patience. Solutions for a few typical household stains are outlined below:

Blood
Most fresh blood stains are removed with simple, cold water. Hydrogen peroxide and shampoo help to remove blood from clothing. Set in stains require a few tricks. For dried blood in the carpet, cover the stain with cold water and pour table salt directly on the stain. Wait several minutes and using a table knife, scrape at the salt to remove it from the carpet. The blood is absorbed into the salt and can be removed by vacuuming up the salt. For removing blood from walls, use a standard soap and water solution.

Ink
A few options are available for removing ink. Professional stain removal products work or try using a home made solution of lemon juice and salt for white fabrics or soaking it in milk overnight for colored. Acetone also removes ink but it can discolor the surface if used on upholstered, carpeted or fabric surfaces. For harder surfaces, a whitening toothpaste removes ink.

Crayon
Use toothpaste or a cloth soaked with ammonia to remove crayon from a painted wall.

Wax
Remove spilled candle wax from wood floors using a blow dryer and a paper towel. For carpets and upholstery, place a brown paper bag over the wax and heat it with an iron. The wax absorbs into the bag.

Bubble Gum
Place the item in the freezer to harden the gum. Once it is frozen, chip away at it to remove it. If it leaves a soiled ring, use a cleaning solution to remove it. If gum is in the carpet or upholstery, use an ice cube to freeze the gum and remove the same way. A carpet or upholstery cleaner should remove any excess residue.

Grass
Apply hydrogen peroxide directly on the stained surface. After the solution has foamed up, wipe it away along with the grass stain.

Scuff Marks
Black scuff marks left from shoes are removed using a pencil eraser.

Hard Water Stains
Remove hard water from glass surfaces by rubbing them with steel wool and vinegar. Create a paste using baking soda and vinegar for bathroom fixtures.

Rust Stains
Several professional rust removing solutions are available on the market. As rust stains are difficult to remove, do some research to find a solution that works for you. Super Iron Out makes a solution that can be used on a number of different surfaces including dishwashers, bathtubs, sinks, toilets and even clothing.

Garage Oil Stains or Spills
Apply cat litter directly over the oil spill. Let it sit over time allowing the cat litter to absorb the oil. When ready, sweep up the litter and toss in the garbage.

Soap Scum
Use an alkaline soap scum remover, often found at janitorial supply stores to remove stubborn or tougher soap scum. Once it has been removed, prevent it from building back up by applying a coat of lemon oil on tile surfaces and boat or car wax on tub walls. Do not use the wax on the bottom surface of the tub.

Toilet Bowl Ring
For a stubborn ring, use a heavy duty acid-based bowl cleaner and apply it with a green scrub sponge. For serious rings, a pumice stone can be used but it can only be used on a white vitreous china toilet. The pumice stone will damage other surfaces. Wet the pumice stone before rubbing and ensure it is wet throughout the process. Rub on the ring until it is removed.

Tar
If tar appears on floors or is on the bottom of shoes, paste removes it.

Hair Spray
Use a diluted solution of shampoo to remove hair spray from walls and other hard surfaces.

Ring around the Collar
Apply a small amount of hair shampoo to the ring as it is designed to remove body oils.

Pet Urine
Remove as much of the urine as possible using dry paper towels or rags. Once you have removed as much as possible, apply a pet odor neutralizer and/or a bacteria/enzyme digester available in most pet stores. Consider renting a professional carpet cleaning system or wet-vac to remove heavier stains.


Hiring a Cleaning Service
House Cleaning

If keeping up on the household chores is more work than you have the desire or the time for, consider hiring a maid service or house cleaning service. These types of services can help for just a day, once a week or once a month. The amount of cleaning tasks you have them do helps for a short or extended period of time. It is up to you to determine how much or how little of their service you would like to use. Regardless of how much cleaning you need, perform the necessary research to find the company that is right for you.

Create a Short List
Prior to making any phone calls, create a short list of potential maid services or house cleaning companies. The list should contain at least three different options and a maximum of seven. A longer list excessively drags out the process and is not required.

To find quality maid services and house cleaning companies in your area, visit the House Cleaning heading on MyYP.com .

Determine the Need
Create a list of cleaning services you want the company to perform. This should include basic cleaning, deep cleaning or specialty tasks depending on the services you need. Establish upfront what you want them to manage. This keeps you focused during the evaluation process.

Gather Quotes
Now that you know what you need, call the short list of companies and request a quote. Invite them out to see the house. Most likely, the overall cost is based on square footage and seeing the home beforehand ensures an accurate quote and eliminates surprises.

Check Licenses
Make sure the company you are evaluating is properly bonded and insured for liability. A quality company should have no problem showing you a copy of their policy and outlining their coverage. Insurance should not only cover theft or something that gets broken during cleaning but should also provide protection for your family if someone gets hurt as a result of the service.

Company Policies
Verify that the company offers their employees workers’ compensation and pays payroll taxes. Avoid any service that does not run their business legally and legitimately.

Ask for References
Request a few names of current clients to call and verify their experience. Ask them if they are happy with the service and if they would recommend them to family and friends. Any quality company should be happy to provide references and allow you to speak directly with their customers. Eliminate any company from consideration if they refuse.

Outline Coverage
Ensure the estimate includes a detailed breakout of what is included in the service. Specific tasks should be itemized to ensure the job thoroughly matches expectations. If folding laundry is not included and you want it performed, make sure they know to list it in the estimate. Each company should provide an itemized task list with their proposal.

Cleaning Products
Confirm if they are supplying their own products or if you are responsible for to providing them. If they supply their own products, don’t be afraid to specifically ask them what they use. Discuss any possible allergy concerns or products you want them to avoid.

Rate Structure
Determine if they charge by the outlined service or by the hour. Work with them to establish the method of payment that you prefer. If charging by the hour make sure enough time is allocated to cover the full list of desired tasks. Don’t find out later that additional time is required to fully complete the job which increases the overall cost. Discuss the payment structure and make sure you are comfortable with the timing and payment method.

Extras
Have the company provide a list of extra services and how much they charge to include them. While it may not be something you have them handle with every visit, occasionally including a few extras may be beneficial.

Evaluate Proposals
Compare the top estimates directly against one another and choose the company that best fits your needs.

Get It in Writing
Once you have chosen the company get expectations, list of services, hours, days required, liability, extras, payment structure and other specifics in writing. Ensure the contract includes the necessary protections preventing you from hidden fees.

 
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