2020 Times-Standard Readers Choice Awarded to A-1 Cleaning Service

2020 Times Standard Readers Choice Award Best Carpet Cleaning

A-1 Cleaning Service, LLC for the second year in the row took first place for Carpet Cleaning in the Eureka Times-Standard Readers Choice Opinion Poll. The competition was stiff this year, but A-1 Cleaning excellent reputation for superior customer service helped them again to achieve this honor. A-1 Cleaning Service, LLC aka A-1 Carpet Cleaning is also celebrating 25 years in business this year, which is quite an accomplishment these days. A-1 Carpet Cleaning is a family-owned business that also provides commercial office cleaning, residential maid services, and window washing.

Voted 2019 Best Carpet Cleaning & Cleaning Service In Humboldt County

Best Of Humboldt 2019 A-1 Cleaning Service

Thank you Humboldt County for voting us BEST in Humboldt again! This is our 3rd year in a row for Best Carpet Cleaning and for Best Cleaning Company. We also won back an old title for best cleaning company we’ve had before with the Times Standard Readers Choice Awards too. It’s been a really great year here at A-1 headquarters! We are all thrilled our team of pro’s have been recognized for their quality work. Your satisfaction has been our goal from the beginning and that will never change. So once more thank you Humboldt for giving us the opportunity to serve you for 24 years and for voting us Best Carpet Cleaning & Best Cleaning Service in HUmboldt County! We are more excited than ever to provide you with excellent service by quality people with cutting edge technology.

We always enjoy celebrating with our staff this accomplishment. Here are a few pictures from the party that the The North Coast Journal through for us besties.

Best Of North Coast 2019 PartyA-1 Cleaning Service Lady Pros Pose for  their picture on a red carpet.We took two categories this year. Best Carpet Cleaning & Best Cleaning Service.
Our Lady Pros Dressed for BOH 2019 Prom Night theme party.
BOH 2019 Best Of The North Coast Carpet Cleaning Award. William & Dianna proudly posing with their award for Best Carpet Cleaning and Cleaning Service in the North Coast.
William & Dianna Hardwick posing proudly with their 2019 award.
Best Of The North Coast 2019 winners proudly posing on the red carpet for best carpet cleaning and cleaning service.
The rest of the team posing on the red carpet.

Six Recipes for Homemade (And Natural) Cleaning Products

DIY Cleaning Products

Few things are more important than maintaining a clean home. Living in a clean, orderly environment does wonders for one’s mental state, but it also saves money down the road—a home left alone for too long might result in having to hire professionals to perform drastic measures such as power cleaning stubbornly stained windows or other cleaning services that cost a pretty penny. 

While most agree that it’s necessary to clean their home regularly, many people, when sprucing up their home, prefer to use store-bought cleaning products. Apart from costing money, these products are made with harsh chemicals that irritate not only the skin, but the eyes and throat as well. They can even cause headaches and other health problems. 

They’re also wholly unnecessary. Using simple ingredients, you can make your own effective cleaner and disinfectant without going out to the store, and without these potentially hazardous chemicals. Here are six simple homemade recipes for safe, environmentally friendly cleaning agents.

A Simple Homemade Glass Cleaner (h2)

This easy DIY glass cleaner utilizes ingredients you can easily find around the home. And it promises a streak-free shine! 

Take the following ingredients and mix them in a spray bottle: 

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup rubbing alcohol

2 cups  water

8 drops of an essential oil of your choice for fragrance. (This could include lemon, lavender, orange, or any scent you’d like.)

You should have most of these ingredients handy, though you might need to pick up essential oils, which you can find easily online. They’re also available at many supermarkets and health stores such as Target and GNC. 

The best news about this recipe? It costs only roughly 33 cents to make a batch. Your windows, and wallet, will thank you.

A 2-Ingredient Kitchen Cleaner and Deodorizer (h2)

An even more simple, and equally inexpensive, homemade cleaner needs only two simple ingredients. For a simple way to clean kitchen countertops, appliances, and the inside of your refrigerator, simply combine the following items:

4 tablespoons baking soda

1 quart warm water

You can use these ingredients in a variety of ways. A simple solution of baking soda and water can be used to deodorize surfaces and clean counters, but you can also remove spots from stainless steel by applying a paste of baking soda and water on the steel and gently scrubbing the affected area with a damp rag.

An Easy and Safe Brass Cleaner (h2)

If you have any brass items in your home, you know that they can tend to tarnish easily. But there’s no need to go to the store and pick up a chemical brass cleaner. You can polish your brass with just three simple ingredients:

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup vinegar

Flour (until mixture becomes a paste)

Once your vinegar, salt and flour has acquired a paste-like consistency, rub the cleaner into your brass and leave it for ten minutes. Once you rinse it off with warm water, you should find a tarnish-free finish!

A Safe and Affordable Marble and Granite Cleaner (h2)

When cleaning stone surfaces, it’s best to avoid chemical-laden cleaners. But even natural acidic liquids such as vinegar or lemon juice can cause permanent damage to these surfaces. 

Thankfully, you don’t need much to create a mixture that’ll perfectly buff and clean marble and granite countertops. Simply combine:

2 cups warm water

2 drops liquid dishwashing soap

That’s it! A little bit of dishwashing soap in warm water will clean your countertops without damaging them. The key here is to not let the wet surface air-dry, once the solution has been applied, buff it off with a dry towel or soft cloth. 

An All-Purpose Cleaner for Everyday Use

This recipe is similar to the glass cleaner, but cuts out the rubbing alcohol and cornstarch added to avoid a streaky finish. What you’re left with is a simple, effective all-purpose cleaner that you can use on most surfaces. Take the three following ingredients and add them to a spray bottle:

2 cups warm water

½ cup distilled white vinegar

20 drops essential oil (of your choice)

Assuming you’ve already procured essential oil for your window cleaning recipe, you can find more use for the bottle to help give your all-purpose cleaner a nice, fresh scent. While we would not recommend using this cleaner on glass or stone countertops, it’s a perfect cleaner for wood, plastic, and everyday items around the home.

Which finally brings us to our last cleaner recipe.

A Natural and Effective Cleaner That’s Guaranteed to Break Up Grease

Arguably the most difficult part of cleaning is dealing with built up grease and gunk, especially in the kitchen around your stove and oven. Most cleaners that can effectively break up these greasy areas are filled with toxic chemicals and fumes that can impact your health with too much exposure. 

This recipe, while requiring some ingredients you might have to go out of your way to purchase, helps knock out these grease stains without any nasty chemicals. It requires orange essential oil (though lemon works in a pinch) and castile soap, which you can find at most supermarkets and national chain pharmacies throughout the nation, or you can order it online. 

Either way, castile soap is a vegetable-based soap that is environmentally friendly and will help give your degreaser some disinfectant qualities. Once you’ve acquired those two ingredients, you’re good to make your cleaner:

1 and ¾ cups water (if you have distilled water, it will give your cleaner a longer lifespan)

2 tablespoons castile soap (make sure you get a liquid soap version, as castile soap comes in both hard and liquid varieties)

20 drops orange essential oil

And that’s it! Put those three ingredients into a spray bottle, and you’ll be able to knock out grease stains in a heartbeat. And you’ll do so without filling your home with toxic fumes. In fact, this cleaner will smell downright refreshing.

With these six natural, safe, and homemade cleaning products at hand, you’ll find yourself saving money and saving yourself from exposure to harsh chemicals. It’s a win-win!

It Starts With You: How Keeping Your Room Clean Improves Your Life

Because of these difficult times, you probably are spending a lot of time in your room. There are two types of people. The first one, those that during the lockdown developed a love for cleaning and have everything nice and tidy. And the second, people who suddenly have a mess around them as if it were magic.

If you feel like you belong to the second group, then you might be feeling kind of guilty, but at the same time, without energy for cleaning your room. The whole pandemic situation has been a challenge, making us abandon our routines and leaving us with feelings of uncertainty.

But if you really want to start changing things, you better start by cleaning your room, and I’m serious. Dr. Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychologist, believes that if you want to make an impact or to jump into bigger challenges, you first need to take care of your immediate environment.

Start with the fundamentals:

Make Your Bed

This is the number one thing when cleaning your room. Yes, I know you’re going to sleep in a few hours again, but think of it that way. Your day begins and ends, and you need to have that same basic logic in mind. Be ready to start your day by waking up early and making your bed right away, so you know it’s time to do all the things you have planned for. Then, at the end of the day, you’ll be ready to rest in a neat, nice bed.

Clean Up Your Clothes

You may have a mountain of clean clothes, and another pile that’s half-dirty. And honestly, I don’t know which one is worse. Make sure to grab all your dirty clothes and put them in the hamper. Also, take your clean clothes and fold or hang them in your closet. When you finish, you’ll probably feel relieved and relaxed.

Clear The Clutter

Remember that by cleaning your room you’re also clearing your mind. Maybe you’ve been accumulating stuff without realizing it. If there are things that have been in the same place for ages, take them away. And don’t forget to wipe the surfaces clean.

Vacuum/Sweep and Mop

This is the final step. Once you’ve cleaned the mess around you, it’s time to really leave your room spotless. Reach as far under the bed as possible, don’t be lazy!

Get Motivated; Turn On Your Favorite Music

Make sure to have a good time while doing these chores. Music can inspire you and maybe you won’t just end with cleaning your room; perhaps you’ll start rearranging things from one place to another or have an easier time getting rid of things you don’t use anymore.

Keep It Beautiful

You need to be happy where you are. Your room is your starting point every day, so why not wake up in your perfect happy place? Use your creativity. Think about adding scented candles, placing flowers in your window, or putting houseplants around the room. You name it.

If you can learn the basics of how to keep your room in order, your mind will be clearer for new ideas, and then you can probably start making more significant changes in your life.

Alejandra Aguilera

20 Easy DIY Home Projects to Spruce up Your Space

DIY Projects A-1 Cleaning Service Eureka

Is spending so much time inside making you go stir-crazy? Well with life outside seemingly on hold, this may be the perfect opportunity to make a few easy home improvements to transform your house into a nicer and more refreshed place to spend your days. From adding a pop of color to your front door to cleaning out your closet, here are 20 DIY home projects you can tackle to spruce up your space while you’re hunkered down. 

Put leftover paint to use 

Many of us probably have an extra can or two of paint lying around. So why not use it to add some pizzazz and depth to your rooms with these DIY home projects.

1. Give your cabinets a makeover

Painting kitchen cabinets a fresh new color is a fantastic way to completely transform your kitchen. If you tend to be more adventurous when it comes to color, your cabinets are a great place to have some fun. If you already have a lot of color in the room or if the space doesn’t have much light, it’s best to go with white or neutral cabinets.

2. Make your mailbox the star of your front yard

Your mailbox is one of the first things people see when they pull into your driveway, so why not give your visitors a great first impression. Whether you live in a ranch-style house in Phoenix, AZ or you just bought a craftsman style home in Portland, OR, you can instantly boost your curb appeal by adding a fresh, vivid coat of paint to your mailbox. 

3. Add a pop of color to your front door

Green Front Door

Changing out your front door can be expensive, so painting your exterior door is an easy way to give the front of your home a makeover and also save some money in the process. Painting the inside of your front door is also a fun way to add a bold pop of color and some character into your home.

4. Give new life to old furniture

If the paint is chipped or wear and tear has gotten the best of some of your older furniture, a quick paint job can give it a new life. Transform a dated (but functional) dresser, nightstand, or bookshelf with this fun DIY project for a fraction of the cost it takes to replace it. 

Clear the clutter

Getting organized can feel like a major undertaking, which is probably why a lot of us tend to put it off, and then put it off again and again. But since you can’t go anywhere, you might as well spend a morning or afternoon tackling the clutter you typically ignore. 

5. Maximize the utility of unused corners with shelving

Running out of storage space? It’s time to finally make use of the corners in your rooms. Installing floating shelves is one of many DIY home projects you can try to create more space. It’s a simple way to spruce up your wall decor while adding more storage in your home.

6. Clean closets

Chances are, you’ve opened up your closet and grabbed one of the same few items since spending most of your time indoors lately. Now’s the time to carefully clean out your closet and decide what you really need from those you haven’t touched in a few years. Start by taking every item out, setting aside the items you don’t need, and cleaning the inside of the closet. If you’re organizing a closet full of clothes, sort clothes into piles by season. Put clothes that you’re not currently using in the back of the closet, like that holiday sweater. Keep frequently used items in the front for easy access. 

7. Organize photos

In a digital age, it’s likely that most of us have our photos stored online. But for those that still have hundreds of photos stored away in boxes, now’s the time to organize them. Start by grouping photos by date or event. Use leftover flashcards or cut up pieces of printer paper as an easy way to separate groups of photos in boxes. If you already keep your photos organized, think about digitizing them. You can use Google’s PhotoScan app to scan old prints and upload them. Organize your photos online into albums to better keep track of them and finally find that picture of your puppy when someone asks.

8. Rearrange bookshelves

Bookshelves

Bookshelves may not initially come to mind when organizing, but they can easily make a space feel brand new. Think about taking some of the books you’ve got hiding away in a back closet and swap them with the current selection on your bookshelf. Wondering what to do with that collectible mug? Add it to your bookshelf for a fresh take on your decor. Best of all, it’s a free way to change up your space.

9. Tackle under-sink storage

The last place you probably think to organize is under your sink. From the bathroom to the kitchen, it’s likely filled with near-empty cleaners, dishwashing soap, or even makeup wipes. Set aside 10 minutes to toss out those old household supplies, instantly freeing up space to make way for all that hand-soap and disinfectant you just bought.

10. Organize your pantry

You may or may not have months’ worth of groceries in your kitchen right now. Before things get too cluttered, take this time to reorganize your pantry – move things around to maximize space, group like items together, and throw away expired items. You may want to break down the work into smaller parts to avoid being overwhelmed. For example, instead of cleaning out the entire pantry, just do one shelf or area at a time. It will be so refreshing to see the pantry all neat and tidy with everything in its place.

Transform your space with lighting

Nothing can change the look and feel of a room quite like choosing the right lighting. The perfect lighting can lift your spirits and make your home a more comfortable place to spend time. 

11. Replace your lightbulbs

If you have a few extra light bulbs lying around, go from room-to-room and replace any that are burned out. You can also completely change the ambiance in your home simply by replacing any harsh white bulbs with calming yellow ones. 

12. Switch up lamp shades

Lamps are commonly overlooked in the design of a home, but they add a lot of character and style to a room. So take a look at the shades on each of your lamps. If you have a similar size lamp in another room, swap the shades to give your space a new feel. You can also update a boring old lampshade with a few DIY home projects such as adding fun print or pattern, or a coat of paint. 

Tackle those forgotten about cleaning projects

Clean Bathroom

Since you’re spending so much time inside, you’re probably noticing all of the overlooked cleaning projects around the house. If you tackle them now, you’ll be rewarded with a living space that feels brighter and refreshed.

13. Restore rugs and carpets

By now, you’ve probably noticed that your carpets and rugs might not be in the same state they were when you moved in or had them replaced. Maybe you don’t even remember the last time they were properly cleaned. Even if you can’t hire a professional to clean your carpets, you can likely rent a carpet cleaner from your local hardware store or carpet cleaning company.

14. Clean under your bed

When was the last time you looked, let alone cleaned under your bed? This is one of those DIY home projects that everyone needs to tackle. The space under your bed is a breeding ground for everything from dust to forgotten items. If you use the space under your bed for storage, like seasonal clothes or extra bedding, make sure you’ve stored those items in vacuum-sealed bags to prevent moisture and mold buildup. Bed skirts also collect dust so throw those in the wash while you’re busy vacuuming underneath. 

15. Refresh tile grout

Refresh your entire bathroom by cleaning and brightening your tile grout. Cleaning grout requires two things: a grout brush or sponge and a suitable cleaner. While there are plenty of store-bought grout cleaners available, it is just as easy to do this with ingredients you already have on hand, such as vinegar and baking soda. 

16. Pressure wash your home’s exterior

Get some fresh air and restore your home to its former beauty by pressure washing the exterior of your house and hardscape areas. You can even bring back to life patio furniture and cushions.

17. Deep clean the refrigerator

With the extra groceries you’ve probably bought lately, it’s time for a refrigerator clean. First things first, throw out any leftover takeout or expired items. When cleaning your refrigerator, use a surface-safe all-purpose cleaner for the exterior and warmer soapy water for the interior. Be sure to wipe down surfaces before putting your items back inside. Keeping similar items grouped together when refilling your fridge will make finding your favorite condiment or coffee creamer easier to find. 

Rethink your wall design 

Redoing your wall design is a fast way to transform the look of your living room, bedroom, or really any space in your house.  

18. Rearrange or hang up a gallery wall

If you’ve always wanted to try to create the perfect gallery wall, this is the time to go for it. If you already have one, change it up to revive the space. Try pieces here and there: a new mix-up might surprise you and showcase your photos and art in an entirely new light. 

19. Use empty frames

Go through the house, pull out any empty frames and put them to good use. Dust off those old photographs and display them proudly or find some printable art online. Hang your frames throughout your home or place them on tables, dressers, and desks.

20. Put old fabric swatches to use

When we think of fabric, we usually think of curtains, linens, or pillows, but there are plenty of DIY home projects you can do to turn a basic piece of fabric into a statement piece of wall art. So dig up any fabric swatches that you have laying around the house and put them to use. You can wrap the fabric around a canvas, hang it in a frame, and much more, letting your creativity soar.

Originally published by Redfin

Rug Care: 7 Habits That Are Damaging Your Rugs

A1 Carpet Cleaning Eureka

(Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/OHuzoS5hTbk)

A rug is one of the staple decorations that can be found inside a house. That’s not surprising since it adds depth, style, and warmth if placed properly in a given room.

It’s also quite durable. Inexpensive ones would usually last around one to five years, while the highest quality rugs have a lifespan of up to 25 years. That is, of course, if the owner takes care of the rug.

Although rug maintenance can be simple, a lot of people usually forgo it due to misconceptions surrounding the practice. More often than not, it only takes avoiding these seven common habits that are detrimental to your rugs:

1. Using Water to Clean Stains

When you spill something on your rug, do not attempt to clean it with water right away as it may worsen the existing problem. A stain like an oil-based ink or nail polish will permanently set on the fibers if you apply water on it.

Instead of applying water, try to dab the stain with a clean white towel to dry it as this will prevent further damage. Moreover, do not rub at the spot as you’ll only spread the stain.

In some cases, you can opt to use seltzer water to keep the area moist until professional help arrives. An expert rug cleaning service will solve your problem quickly while ensuring that the quality of your rug remains in top condition.

2. Failing to Conduct Proper Research

With the internet on our fingertips, people would often turn to the web to look for tips on how to clean their rugs. But some of the tips advised may do more harm than good.

To avoid this, try to verify the information on credible sites to see if the solution works well with the material of the rug. Cleaning companies would usually use a variety of cleaning solutions to clean a stain depending on the fiber of a rug. Using vinegar, ammonia, dish soap, or hydrogen peroxide is an option depending on your predicament. But again, do your research first before applying anything.

3. Too Long Between Cleaning

Similar to all areas in your house, your rug should be regularly cleaned as dirt and debris will accumulate on it due to foot traffic and other factors. Generally speaking, you should vacuum your rug at least once a week.

For pet owners, that number should be bumped to two or three times a week since fur is a massive contributor to rug debris. Vacuum vertically and horizontally, passing the entire surface at least four times for high-traffic areas and at least twice on low-traffic ones.

 

(Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/Bcdd_KstUHo)

4. Addressing Spills Late

When something gets spilled on your rug, try to blot it out immediately with a paper towel to avoid it from spreading and setting in. This is doubly true when the stain is pet urine.

Don’t rub or scrub at it. Instead, dab the urine out until the area is no longer moist. You can then use an enzyme-based solution that’s specifically designed for this type of stain and one that is suitable for your rug’s material. Alternatively, you can mist on an ammonia solution followed by a mix of detergent and warm water.

5. Using Colored Cloth

Do not attempt to clean a stain with a colored cloth as the dye might bleed onto your rug, further complicating the problem. Always use a white towel or paper towel to blot out the stain.

6. Too Much Solution

When applying a chosen solution, do not over-moisten the rug as it may cause rug discoloration. Simply mist the area and blot it out with a colorless cloth.

Repeat the process until the stain is removed. Also, make sure that no moisture is left on the rug once you’re done.

7. Too Much Exposure to UV Light

Placing your rug on areas that are constantly baked by the sun will cause discoloration and will turn the fibers brittle. To avoid this, try to be mindful of where UV light is streaming in your house and the pattern it follows when the season changes. Adding blinds and curtains to your windows and glass sliding doors would also do wonders when it comes to protecting your rugs.

Discipline and Basic Knowledge

Taking care of your rugs isn’t a complicated process, although it does involve a bit of basic knowledge and discipline on your end. For instance, removing your shoes before entering your abode will ensure that minimal dirt gets in. You can extend this practice when guests come over, too.

Training your pets is also another way to ensure that they don’t have an accident involving your carpet. And if they did, don’t let the stain sit for too long.

And of course, having a professional clean your rugs from time to time will ensure that they last long. Diligent research is also needed on this front, especially if there’s a lot of competition in your local area. Try to find a company that friends and family can vouch for so you can ensure the quality of their output.

Become a professional window cleaner with these simple tips

Windows are an integral part of the design of any residential building, as well as commercial offices. The primary purpose of windows is to allow the bright daylight to enter indoors and instantly freshen up your day. It is important to maintain the windows to ensure their optimum utilization. Dirty windows are not a pleasant sight and they have an adverse effect. Keeping the windows clean is highly beneficial; besides the aesthetic value, it also adds to the hygiene factor. This article lists several tips that will help you to perform window cleaning in a more precise manner and the benefits of considering the alternative of leaving the hard task of cleaning windows to professional cleaning in Virginia.

The key to cleaning your windows like a professional is first to make sure you have the right equipment. Making some effort to prepare to start with can be highly beneficial. Once you do have the right equipment, it is a good idea to assess the dangers of cleaning the windows, depending on where it is. This is of more importance if the windows are located in a high-rise building.

You can start off by cleaning the space beneath the windows to make sure nothing is in the way and that no damage can come to the surface or anything below the window. The equipment you select to clean the window should be down with some thought and after considering all factors like the height of the window, the method in which you will access it, etc. It is a good practice to remove the dust with the help of a vacuum before washing it with water. It is best to take a big bottle of liquid that is easy to spray and wipe. One should be prepared for unexpected obstacles. There are many types of cleaning challenges; for example, for droppings by birds and insects, it will be necessary to make some effort to wipe it once the dropping is cleared. It is necessary to be careful when removing tough stains since it can easily scratch the glass

Why is it best to opt for professional cleaning services?

A lot of people try washing windows on their own. It is quite strenuous and can take its toll on the muscles, not to mention the fact that it can leave one mentally drained. It may seem like a straight forward task. However, it is, in fact, a long, difficult task that leaves one in sweat and dirt once done. Besides having to make a lot of effort, there is also some level of risk involved when cleaning windows, especially when it is at a great height. To top it all, this type of cleaning will be necessary regularly for it to be effective.

A professional window cleaner is aware of the ins and outs of the cleaning process, and they are experts at doing it. Keeping the windows clean is an excellent preventive measure against damage; it protects air quality and also helps maintain the energy efficiency of your home. Leaving this task to the professionals would mean you can save a lot of time and spend it on many other productive tasks. At the same time, hiring professionals for power washing in Northern Virginia means you can be sure they are 100% clean.

Your Home Is A Jungle: How Improper Cleaning Invites Creepy-crawlies Into The Home

We tend to think of our homes as islands cut off from the rest of the world. Where nothing lives except ourselves and our loved ones. But in reality we share our home with millions of little creatures — and not just bacteria. Some of them even live on us and our pets.

And while some of these creatures are a normal and natural presence in the house, others aren’t supposed to be there — instead, bad cleaning habits (or not cleaning at all) can “invite” them to come in and live in the house with us. 

All of these creatures — normal or not normal — can make us ill if we don’t clean properly enough. Because a dirty environment gives them the chance to multiply, and in large numbers we begin to “feel” their presence, such as through allergies or other means. 

Let’s take a look at some of the creepy-crawlies that call our home theirs, and what we can do to get rid of them.

Toxoplasma

This parasite lives in the stomach-lining of cats and dogs, and its eggs drop out through feces. Litter-trays and dog poop is therefore a hotbed for infection. The eggs can even “stick” to the paws of your beloved pets, where they are transmitted easily throughout the house. The scary thing about this parasite is, it is a mind-altering parasite. It can infect the brain, where it subtlety influences our behaviour.

It is important that you regularly and thoroughly clean up after your pets’ mess, and that you also clean their feet. Try to limit where they go in the house, and certainly discourage them from jumping up on the worktop (in the case of cats) or the couch. Wash your hands after touching your pet.

Cryptosporidium 

It’s a bit of a mystery, where this microscopic spore comes from. But it has a nasty habit of infecting water — even chlorinated water. Usually, you will instinctively know if a source of water is infected with it, as it will generally be dirty or contaminated. A major source of contamination is shower water, or swimming pool water. 

Exposure can make you ill with stomach cramps and fever. This isn’t so much of a cleaning tip as a general awareness tip. If you have reason to suspect your water supply is contaminated with cryptosporidium, notify your water supplier. 

Crypto

Face mites

Mites live on your face. Yes, you read that correctly. At least two species, that aren’t even closely related to each other. 

And while it is normal to have thousands of microscopic mites moving about, breeding, and eating around your hair follicles, not cleaning properly can encourage a boom in their reproductive cycles. 

Too many face mites can cause acne and other skin conditions like rosacea; itching and hair loss. To get rid of them, use creams designed for oily skin in conjunction with tea tree oils and wipes, and try to wash your face several times a day. This should get down their numbers. 

Dust mites

Up to 10 million of these tiny, microscopic spiders can inhabit an old mattress, where their excessive droppings can trigger allergies. It is estimated that nearly 1 in 5 people are sensitive to excessive dust mites.

You can get rid of them by regular damp dusting; washing fabrics at 60 degrees Celsius, and swapping the faeces-laden mattress every seven years for a new one. 

Mosquitoes

These tiny terrors need no introduction. In the summertime, and particularly at dusk, they like to gather around light and water sources, and feast on whatever sweet skin they can get their hands on. 

A lot of bites are avoidable and stem from the condition of the garden. A rundown garden, with refuse or rubbish, open sources and long grass, can all encourage them to breed and hatch — and make their way inside through an open window. Reduce their numbers by cleaning and cutting the garden; clearing any debris away, and eliminating/covering any likely breeding grounds. 

Cockroaches

These beasts are attracted to offal; crumps, leftover food and water, and live in cracks and crevices in old foundations. When they don’t get what they want, they leave “smear marks” that not only smell rotten but spread disease.

The best way to fight against cockroaches is to not encourage them in, in the first place. Clean up after eating; and especially check to see if there aren’t crumbs lying about. Once an infestation is established, it may be time to call in an exterminator. Regular vacuuming will work well to clear away the eggs. 

Bedbugs

Actually bedbugs are a sign of a clean home, as they love clean environments. They are actually common in affluent hotels and esteemed apartments — so think of the infestation as a sort of compliment (well, that’s one way to look at it anyway).

Bedbugs owe their success to their eggs’ ability to survive in transportation for long periods of time. So if you’ve stayed in a room that’s not your own — and especially if you’ve been to a hotel — isolate your clothes and case and check for eggs. Vacuum them up if you see them. If your home is already infested, call an exterminator. 

Ticks

Most ticks cannot survive for long inside — they are woodland creatures. Except for the Brown Dog Tick. If you’ve been on a long walk with your dog, and especially in a grassy or leafy area, give it a check for ticks. Like with mosquitoes, the garden is another culprit here. Keep your garden tick-unfriendly by pruning back any bushes and trees, and by trimming the grass short. 

Ticks Infographic

This article was written by Neil Wright of Pure Freedom, a company that manufactures window cleaning systems for professional cleaners in the UK.

Tips for Easy and Effective Cleaning

A-1 Maid Service

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American usually spends at least one hour every day cleaning the house. Knowing how to keep your house clean between work, errands, parenting, and the other demands of everyday life can be one of the hardest lessons you learn in life. While it might be impossible to manage all the household chores and your office work, these easy and effective hacks shared by our friends from best vacuum expert will help you keep your house clean and your life in order.

1. Keep all your cleaning tools in the same spot

Keeping your collection of cleaning tools in one place will make things easy for you. You won’t waste any time looking for your tools when you want to clean, and you do not have to worry about assembling them before your next cleaning routine. Whether it is a tote, bucket, or caddy, having all your cleaning tools and products in one portable object will make it pretty easy to get the job done.


2. Sanitize your countertops and other surfaces


You can start by wiping down all the hard surface areas from appliances, countertops, and cabinets to light switches, doorknobs, telephones, and TV remotes. You should sanitize some of these surfaces, especially the ones which may deliver germs to the faces and fingers of people. You can make a nontoxic disinfection substance by mixing apple cider vinegar with some water.



3. Focus on sinks, toilets, and tubs

Hairs and toothpaste splatters in your bathroom sink can look nasty. Spray a suitable cleaning product on your kitchen sinks and then on your bathroom sinks, toilets, and tubs. Allow it to sit for several minutes to give the cleaner enough time to dissolve all the dirt and stains. Return to your kitchen and begin scrubbing and cleaning toilets last. You can keep a container of some disinfecting wipes under the sink, so they are handy. Wipe your sink’s faucet and basin after you are done getting ready for your day.

4. Keep moving as you vacuum

To keep your house clean, you should invest in a handheld vacuum. Don’t worry about getting everywhere when you vacuum. You should keep moving through your house, running the compact vacuum in each carpeted room in a single pass. Some tasks do not require to be done every week. These include cleaning the windows, waxing the furniture, as well as washing bath mats and area rugs. Inspect these home accessories and make your decision.

5. Do at least one load of laundry every day

Doing one laundry every day is life-changing. You can put your load in before leaving for work. However, if your washing machine comes with a delayed beginning cycle, you can set it to run before you return home. Transfer all the damp clothing items to the dryer after taking dinner, and then fold them before you retire to bed. Putting away a single load of laundry will take a short time, and you can also do it before going to bed.

6. Clean up each time you cook


Generally, dirty countertops and surfaces can attract household pests as well as make your kitchen space look awful. You can load dishes in your dishwasher after snacks or meals and then clean or wipe your countertops. This task does not involve moving everything. Start by putting any food away, spray your cleaner, and then clean.

7. Clean the entire house

Cleaning is more effective if you pick a single task at a time like dusting, vacuuming, or mopping. You should do the same task in each room in your house to prevent you from feeling as if you are in a constant cleaning cycle, beginning the same job over and over again.

8. Make cleaning a team activity

One of the best techniques to clean your house fast is by making the cleaning routine a team effort. You can schedule a specific time with your family in advance and assign the tasks to every individual. Working together as a group can bring some fun to the cleaning routine, and your entire house will be tidy and organized within a short time.