Cleaning the oven is a laborious and time-consuming chore that most homeowners hate to do. Seriously, who wants to spend their well-earned weekend off with their head stuck in the oven breathing in fumes and scratching grease? We use ovens every day and they have to be cleaned regularly however much we hate doing it.
You can postpone major oven cleaning by getting rid of minor spillages and grease. Nevertheless, every once in a while or at least regularly you should clean the oven intensively.
Just thinking about cleaning the oven is wearisome. Having the experts handle this tiresome and backbreaking task has numerous advantages. Let us consider a few reasons why you should let a professional cleaning company clean your oven.
The experts have the right cleaning equipment
Properly cleaning your oven sometimes means dismantling it into pieces. If you haven’t figured out how you are going to pull off the oven doors and clean it in your sink then you should probably not even get started.
However, you don’t have to worry about a thing because when you hire cleaning experts they will not only do the cleaning they will handle the mechanics as well. They will do all the dismantling of doors and fans without any problems enabling them to provide your oven with a rigorous clean. This is not your typical DIY job because you could damage your oven.
We all have very busy lifestyles and cleaning the oven is not your average five minutes task, it could actually last half the day. Therefore, if cleaning the oven is not very high on your list of priorities, then you should save time for more valuable work by hiring a cleaning expert. Not only will the cleaning professionals do a better job they will save you a lot of time and as they say time is money! Remember a clean oven is more efficient because it evenly distributes heat much quicker saving time.
Reduced Utility Bills
As mentioned earlier, a clean oven is much more efficient and saves a lot of time. Nonetheless, you get to save money as well because meals will take a shorter time to cook since the heat is sufficiently distributed leading to greater energy savings. Plus, you can actually see through the clean oven door glass to watch how the food is cooking without opening the oven. This will minimize heat loss that causes reheating as a result of opening the oven door frequently. Cleaning your oven also makes it more durable saving you money in repair or replacement.
Health and Safety
A dirty oven is a recipe for disaster, because as dirt and grease build up around the fan and shelves your oven becomes vulnerable to fire. It is also a health risk because your oven can be a safe haven for bacteria to grow and make your food unhealthy for consumption. Therefore, a thorough cleaning of your oven by experts will save you from a fire disaster and illness.
Better food Quality
A dirty oven will make the food prepared by the best chef taste average. Food prepared in a dirty oven will taste different because the heat is not evenly distributed and additionally the dirt and grease can evaporate and spill into your food. Therefore, it makes sense to have a clean oven if you want quality food.
In a nutshell, cleaning your oven has numerous benefits and letting the experts clean your oven does not in any way imply that you are lazy. Therefore, there is no shame in calling an expert cleaning service to clean your oven and no one should make you feel guilty about it. We all have very busy schedules and some tasks are better handled by experts. Check out all the services we offer.
If you want to attempt cleaning your oven on your own check out this YouTube tutorial.
Carpets have a temptingly nice soft and warm feeling on bare feet and look great. This is the reason you will find certain rooms in homes furnished with them. A good quality carpet is a pricey investment and should be well maintained to maintain its quality look and feel. However, most people find cleaning carpets a long and tedious job. Nonetheless, cleaning your carpet has numerous advantages and should be part of your cleaning routine.
A carpet that is well cared for will be more durable and hygienic for the home. We have outlined a few tips on how to care for your carpet:
Good carpet care demands regular vacuuming. To eliminate dry particles of dust, soil and animal fur dry vacuuming is recommended. Consequently, vacuuming contributes significantly to preserving the carpet’s quality. Depending on the level of foot traffic on the carpet it is important to vacuum at least once a day especially where traffic is high. Carpets mainly get dirty from being walked on, therefore, you should find ways to reduce dirt, for instance, using door mats.
Cleaning Spillage and Spots
Immediately clean any spillage or spots to keep them from drying and sticking to the carpet making it difficult to clean later. Soiling can also damage the look and quality of the carpet if left for too long. Here are a few tips for cleaning spillage and spots:
Promptly clean any spillage to avoid staining.
To make an effective cleaning formula add at least 4 teaspoons of white vinegar and a teaspoon of carpet shampoo to one liter of lukewarm water.
Act on spills from the outside going in.
Avoid making the carpet too wet.
Do regular restorative carpet cleaning
Professional Carpet Cleaning
The best most homeowners do to maintain carpets is periodic vacuuming and cleaning of soils and spills. This is important however to preserve the carpets quality and condition you must do more than that. Vacuuming and cleaning spillage will get rid of most the dirt and boost its look, but certain sticky particles and dust may lie unaffected by this basic care.
The cleaning experts recommend intensive carpet cleaning at least once a year with proper daily maintenance between the rigorous cleaning. Restorative carpet cleaning from a professional cleaning company is recommended every once in a while to keep the carpet hygienic and durable.
If you include the carpet maintenance tips into your daily housekeeping routine your carpet will always be attractive, clean and fresh. Expert restorative cleaning will take care of any dirt that the daily maintenance could not handle using special tools and techniques such as dry extraction cleaning which can repeatedly be used without damaging the carpet with no drying time. Another effective technique is steam cleaning or hot water extraction which loosens spillage using fluid and extracts it through suction eliminating soils and dry spills completely.
Unfortunately professional carpet cleaning can be very expensive, but the need for this can be substantially reduced by having our cleaning service come in on a regular basis and take care of vacuuming your carpets.
Chicago also is known as ‘The Windy City’ is one of the cities in America where sports is loved and taken very seriously. The Chicago home teams are sure of one thing, the love of the Chicago fans never dies even when they fail to win.
If you are in Chicago and you are looking for some action then go check out any game played by any of the renowned Chicago sports teams. The Chicago sports teams have had a history of success in major tournaments and even when they disappoint the fans never turn their backs on them. The fans in Chicago are some of the most loyal fans who never lose faith in their teams no matter what! Even if you are not an avid sports fan the experience of catching any of the teams in action is captivating. There are a variety of sports in Chicago and most of them are very popular including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, athletics and horseracing. There is a season for every sport each year and the drama is breathtaking.
Football is the biggest sport in Chicago and you cannot miss the Chicago Bears football team in action at the recently refurbished Soldier Field. Thousands of loyal fans brave some of the worst weather to support their team. Being one of the biggest attractions in the city of Chicago the Chicago Bears team draws huge crowds. Another huge sport in Chicago is hockey and you can catch the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team in action at the largest arena in the USA the United Center. Another famous Chicago sports team is the Chicago Bulls, basketball team.
When it comes to baseball now that is like a religion in Chicago. The two famous baseball teams in Chicago the south side Chicago White Sox and the north side Chicago Cubs have a religious following from their fans. Catch the Cubs in action at the historic Wrigley Field and the White Sox at the state of the art US Cellular Field. Soccer fans can go down to the Soldier Field to join electric soccer fans cheer the Chicago Fire soccer team.
Life in Chicago would not complete without sports and highly passionate fans. The Chicago sports teams are some of the toughest in the country if you look at the history of the Bears and the Bulls. We cannot forget the minor league teams such as the Wolves hockey team, Schaumburg Flyers baseball team and others who provide excellent entertainment for families in Chicago.
The most popular Chicago sports teams still remain the Bears, Hawks, Bulls, White Sox and Cubs. The Bears despite having an awful season are still the top team in Chicago and we at Companion Maids will always remain die-hard fans! If you want to host a party for the upcoming world series make sure to check out the house cleaning services we provide so you can focus on the game!
The residential cleaning industry has experienced drastic changes over the last several years. As I referenced in my blog post at BuiltinChicago, many new cleaning companies have started in the last few years, each company with a common goal of making a footprint in a fast-changing landscape. All kinds of cleaning services have sprung, from the premium, uber-expensive services, to the Homejoy types, or what I like to call,” the new McDonald’s” of the cleaning industry.
With that said, behind all the numbers, marketing, and promises of a spotless home, there remains a most important common denominator in regards to this industry, and that is the treatment of the maids themselves. Cleaning homes is a HARD job. I’ve done a few cleanings myself on behalf of Companion Maids, and the work is physically demanding, the time management aspect can be stressful, and satisfying client and employer can be nerve-racking. This is why, as a company, we started and/or adopted a few very important ‘maxims’ when it comes to our cleaners.
Our cleaners must be paid a fair, sustainable wage. Minimum wage doesn’t cut it in this country, and it doesn’t cut it with us either.
We will only work with clients that want to pay a fair amount for an exceptional job. We love to offer the occasional deal, but we will not undercut just to snag a client.
Our cleaners are an integral part of Companion Maids. Even in the event of a conflict, they will be treated with respect and decisions will be fair to the client, company, and cleaner.
We need to take a bit of a stand. Most of the time we hold interviews for new cleaners, we inevitably run into cleaners that are being paid far less than minimum wage for their work. If a company is charging an absurdly low price for a sizable job, understand that the cleaner is making an absurdly low amount of money for their hard work. In fact, some maid TEAMS make as little as 20% of what the company has charged you. 20%. If you’re OK with that, more power to you, but we simply would not like to have you as a client. If you’re not OK with that, then try not to patronize that company.
*Cleaners (teams) should generally be making 30%+ of what you pay, PLUS their company should be reimbursed for supplies/gas/other related expenses.
*Cleaning teams should generally be making 50%+ of what you pay IF the company does not reimburse them for expenses.
There are many standalone services where the worker is independent and will charge a small amount of money to do the job. This is more acceptable because any amount of money can be of help for some people, and the typical independent cleaner doesn’t have any overhead to deal with. Of course, they also keep 100% of what you pay them. However, we would strongly caution against working with an independent that doesn’t at least have general liability insurance. It protects the client, the cleaner, and it’s the law.
The sad truth is that most cleaning companies aren’t great to their workers. Fortunately however, most of those companies don’t stay in business past 5 years. At Companion Maids, to date, we haven’t had ONE team quit our company to work with another cleaning service. There’s a reason for that. Of course, we have had to part ways with a few teams over time. But the maxims stand.
If you work with a good company that charges a fair rate, you can generally be more confident that the cleaners that come to make your home look good are happier, and are rewarded for their work.
Companion Maids will be participating in a silent auction for an upcoming charity event benefiting research for bone marrow transplant. Dr John Galvin, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Researcher at the Feinberg School of Medicine is leading a study on bone marrow transplant. The charity event, called Summer Lovin’ is hosted by the Auxiliary Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
The Auxiliary Board consists of young professionals with a focus on connecting professionally and benefiting others by continuing to support doctors and patients of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Since first becoming affiliated with Northwestern in 1987, the Auxiliary Board has contributed more than 1 million dollars to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Companion Maids is proud to be a Chicago cleaning service that can give back. As a small, growing company, we are just starting to explore ways to benefit the great Chicago community that has entrusted us with her business. To that end, we have donated over $450 worth of services to be auctioned off at the upcoming Summer Lovin event, with the winning wager going directly to Dr Galvin’s research.
Read more about the work of Dr Galvin and to make a donation to help support bone marrow transplant research, click here.
No one likes a dirty home. Imagine when you enter your home after work only finds your house is a mess. Chances are, it will make you more tired! People like their minds to be refreshed when they return home, but messiness adds to the burden. To keep your home look clean and tidy, there are small things you need to do consistently. One time jobs will not keep your home sustain-ably clean.
Also, if your home is clean, it will be beneficial for your family’s health. In contrast, a dirty home will become a nest of germs, so when you leave your home dirty, it means that you put your family’s health in danger. The best defense against threats to the health of your family is by maintaining the cleanliness of your home. Having a clean and tidy home is important, not only will it gives you a comfortable feeling, but it also can ensure the health of your family. To get a perfect result, you may need to hire a cleaning company regularly. Of course, we can take care of that. But once again, this is not a one-time job, so if you want your home clean and tidy at all times, there are some jobs you have to do between their visits. And here are some simple jobs that you can do to keep your home clean and tidy.
Take your time to sort the unused items and discard them. This way, you will keep your home from clutter. But, sometimes clutter cannot be avoided, especially if you have children. For that, you need to teach your children about cleanliness and prepare a trash can in your room. Teach your child to throw garbage into the trash can. Tidy up toys, books, magazines in a big plastic container, this will save you space, and also makes it neat and clean. Get rid of items that are no longer needed, there will be no point to store unused items, it will only make your room dirty. Clearing clutter every day will make your task easier.
By ensuring that you have a place for each of your goods, then your room will look neat. In addition, your family members will know where they should put something, instead of putting stuff anywhere.
Get The Right Equipment
You will need different equipment to clean each room. There are many rooms in your home, and sometimes, you also need to use different techniques to clean each room. The right equipment will make your job easier.
Clean Spills and Stains ASAP
You definitely do not want to see any stains on your furniture, especially on the delicate fabric of the furniture. It will make your furniture, ugly and dirty. Some other furniture like cabinets are also susceptible to stains, so you should take appropriate steps to remove these stains. Clean the stain as soon as possible. If you let the stain dries, it will make your job in cleaning the stains on your furniture is more difficult. So clean the stains when they are still wet. It also applies in your kitchen. You can wash the dirty dishes immediately, do not let it pile up. And don’t forget to clean sinks, ovens, and table counters as well.
You need to teach your family members to clean up the home. Cleaning the home is not solely your task. You can teach your family members to sweep and mop the floor, or just cleaning the windows. In addition to lighten your load, it also can be a fun activity.
If you’re like most people, the majority of your home cleaning appointments are between you and yourself. While many effective cleaning products are available for every manner of cleaning your home, most of them are incredibly toxic. If you are interested in making your home a bit more safe on cleaning days and beyond, follow these simple steps by Companion Maids.
1. Throw Out All Harmful Products
If you look under your sink, you will most likely find an array of skull labels with the word ‘fatal’ included in the wording. Your bug killers, oven cleaners, floor wax — all of these products tend to be toxic. With every spray, harmful chemicals become airborne, ready to be inhaled by yourself, your children and even your four-legged best friends. Do yourself a favor and prepare for a cleaner, safer home by eliminating harmful products that you ingest on a daily basis.
The keyword here is toxic. When shopping, be sure to check the labels of each product you are considering. If you see something like, ‘harmful or fatal if swallowed,’ ‘caution’ or anything with the word ‘poison,’ it’s best to avoid that product. Also, take note that many products can be highly corrosive and damage various surfaces in your home. Corrosive products can also damage your skin. With that said, focus on finding non-toxic, biodegradable products.
3. The Proper Green Clean
There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with green cleaning products. The first is to pay attention to what type of water is flowing through your faucet. Is it hard or soft? If your water is hard, you will likely need to clean with a detergent instead of soap to eliminate soap scum.
Speaking of water, try to use as little of it as you can. One of the main ways in which you can produce a smaller footprint on the world’s resources is to conserve water.
Finally, there are many ways you can keep your air safer to breathe, but one fun way, in particular, is plants! Plants tend to absorb harmful toxins, making the air in your home a little cleaner.
It pains us to say this, but a clean home doesn’t always *gasps* require booking a housecleaning service! Everyone likes a clean home, but some of the little things get ignored, and a bunch of little things can add up.
With that said, Companion Maids feels it can help out with tips to help you keep your home clean. In our first installment, we show you how to green clean your home.
Check out this infographic:
This infographic is like a snapshot reference to this post where we talk more in-depth about how to keep your home green in-between cleanings. Hope you enjoy!
Being a maid — particularly a housemaid can be a very difficult task. As a maid service business, we encounter an entire spectrum of different expectations and needs from our clients. Recently, I had a conversation with a close friend of mine, who isn’t in the business and has never hired a maid before, about how much maids make on an hourly basis. His thoughts were that experienced maids typically earn an unreasonably high rate per hour ($35-45) where I, as a company owner that pays well above the standard rate, have more realistic numbers.
So we decided to look this up. The results surprised even me. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a bit less than 1 million full-time employed maids last year, with an average, or ‘mean’ wage of $10.49 an hour. Now in Chicago, the pay was $11.39 an hour, which is not much different, and frankly, a low wage.
In Chicago, the pay was $11.39 an hour
This is a problem. The maid service industry is an old-school industry that hasn’t seen much change until recently, with the explosion of Web 2.0 websites that make booking an appointment a little easier (the premise of our site) with investors pouring money into financing them. Services such as ours charge a bit more for the convenience factor, and we tend to pay our maids a LOT better. This helps Web 2.0 companies two-fold:
Higher pay means attracting higher quality cleaners
Higher pay means cleaners perform higher-quality cleaning jobs
Of course, customers generally like knowing that their cleaners are getting a fair wage, and are working harder to make their home clean as a result.
So the question is, how much do Web 2.0 companies pay their maids?
We can’t speak for other companies, and because we pay by the job, a more efficient maid team will earn a higher effective hourly rate. However, our average maid team will make just over $20 an hour. As a result, Companion Maids has been able to hire some amazing maid teams, and our customers are pretty happy.
But that’s beside the point. The point is that your typical full-time maid cannot make enough money to pay their bills. And this is a problem. We need to focus on providing a means for making maid services valuable again so that when people pay to get their house cleaned, it’s a win/win situation for all.
There is perhaps no more important cleaning item in the house than floors. As a cleaning company, we hear many requests about how to handle a certain part of the house, but floor care is our most frequent request.
With that in mind, many people have no idea how to clean their floors the best way.
The simple answer is that different floor types require different styles of cleaning to eliminate the most dirt and grime while doing the least amount of long-term damage to the surface. One thing to keep in mind is that the key to floor health is not just in how well you clean, but in how well you treat your flooring in between cleanings.
Here is a brief guide to handling different types of floors.
How To Clean Hardwood Floors
The most important thing to do before applying any wet cleaning agent to a floor is to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. Feel free to use a duster, a high quality broom, and/or a vacuum to pick up the little pieces that were left behind.
Go over this a second time, and make sure that you’re either not wearing shoes or you’re wearing shoe coverings. Obviously, you don’t want to track dirt.
Next, you want to use a mop with just a little bit of cleaning solution. You can add a few drops of some type of scented oil if you’d like (lemon works pretty well on floors.) Two important things:
Mop along the grain of the wood
Do NOT use to much water on the floor so as not to leave any standing water
An easy way to ensure you’re not using too much liquid is to use a swiffer mop instead of a regular one. We use them a lot at Companion Maids, and we’ve found them to be a universally good tool to get the job done, especially in a bind.
Hardwood Floors with a stain
The following advice is from an article featured in “Better Homes and Gardens”
Consider your floor’s finish before trying to remove a mark. If the stain is on the surface, your floor probably has a hard finish, such as urethane. If the stain has penetrated through to the wood, the floor probably has a soft oiled finish — common in older homes whose floors have not been refinished and resealed. Wipe surface stains from a hard finish with a soft, clean cloth. Never use sandpaper, steel wool, or harsh chemicals on such a surface because they can permanently damage the finish.
The following remedies are for hardwood floors with soft oiled finishes. If needed, end each treatment by staining the wood, then waxing and buffing the spot to match the rest of the floor.
Dark spots and pet stains: Rub the spot with No. 000 steel wool and floor wax. If the area is still dark, apply bleach or vinegar and allow it to soak into the wood for about an hour. Rinse with a damp cloth.
Heel marks: Use fine steel wool to rub in floor wax.
Oil-base stains: Rub the area with a soft cloth and dishwashing detergent to break down the grease. Rinse with clear water. If one or more applications don’t work, repeat the procedure. Keep children and pets out of the room until you’re done. Let the spot dry, then smooth the raised grain with fine sandpaper.
Water marks or white stains: Rub the spot with No. 000 steel wool and floor wax. If the stain goes deeper, lightly sand the floor and clean with fine steel wool and odorless mineral spirits.
How To Clean Tile Floors
As said above, the first thing to do is make sure you have swept and vacuumed the surface area so as not to track dirt with your mop or cleaning rag. You should do this regularly to keep the floor in good shape.
Again, the name of the game is to use a mop with very little water. You don’t want any water to seep into the cracks, especially if your tile is stone or you have a lot of grout in between the tiles. We recommend using a swiffer.
However, the key to a “clean” versus “truly clean” tile floor is how you handle the grout. Because grout is porous, it absorbs grease and other stains and gets dirtier over time, making it harder to clean. As a result, the best way to treat grout is to make a mixture of baking soda and water, mix it into a paste, and rub it into the grout, focusing on areas that are dirtier.
Now let that paste sit there overnight. The next morning, scrub the paste off with a dry, stiff brush material like nylon. Do not use metal as it will scrape away and damage the grout. Repeat as necessary.
How To Clean Linoleum Floors
Linoleum or vinyl flooring is much more simple to care for, from a cleaning perspective. Caring for the floor relies more on your daily routine and movements than how you clean it. Don’t use heavy furniture, or slide chairs across the surface, as this can leave a dent or scratch the floors. It is also important to wax the floors occasionally to retain it’s beautiful shine.
As always, before cleaning the floor, make sure you remove dirt and debris with a broom or dust mop. Only use a small vacuum (like a dirt devil) so as not to damage the surface with heavy machinery.
Cleaning the floor with a mop is pretty easy, just be sure that your cleaning solution is not too potent. A low strength detergent will do you just fine here.
As always, be sure to not use too much water.
We hope that this advice on different types of flooring can help you keep your floors clean and healthy. Companion Maids prides ourselves on providing high quality cleaning services in the Chicago area, and one of the main things we focus on his having a clean floor.