Monthly Archives: June 2015

5 Tricks for an Allergy-Free Home

Allergies may be known as a springtime affliction, but in reality it seems as if we’re not safe from pollen during any of the warmer months of the year. Allergens may be a small price to pay for beautiful blooms and gorgeous greenery, but after over ten years’ experience in the cleaning business and a lifetime of the seasonal sniffles, we’ve come up with some tricks to keep your home allergen-free so you can enjoy your summer with minimal allergy symptoms. Keep reading to learn the best ways to hold your own in the battle against pollen, pet dander and other household allergens.

1)      Invest in a HEPA filter

HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which go in your vacuum cleaner, are proven to trap 100% of pollen and 99.9% of all other allergens, as well as dust. Experts widely regard this tool as the best way to rid your home of particulate matter. In the meantime, if you don’t have a HEPA filter, try dusting before you vacuum, rather than as a separate measure or after; when you dust, you inevitably leave some material to drift to the ground, which a vacuum can then pick up.

 

2)      Brush your pets regularly

After the chill of winter gives way to spring and then summer sunshine, your pet starts to lose its heavier winter coat to help cool down during the warmer months. The end result is, of course, more pet hair to remove from your home, as well as dander, a trigger for many people’s seasonal or general allergies. To help avoid the spread of dander in your home, brush your pets one to two times a day with a fine-bristled brush to contain the loss before it has a chance to infiltrate your home and air filters. Consider laying an old towel where your pets sleep, and make sure to lint roll it daily and wash it several times a week.

3)      Get those hard-to-reach places

Dust is not stationary, and if you miss it in the corners of rooms, between the wall and furniture, under your bed, under your stove and in other spots where you might not think to clean, it can easily drift down to infect your living space and cause your symptoms to flare back up. Swiffers and Wet-Jets can reach ceilings and hard-to-reach fixtures (don’t forget the tops of fan blades!) and vacuum extensions can take care of the floor beneath furniture.

 

4)      Avoid letting clutter accumulate

Clutter provides dust, dander and pollen with an excellent place to hide. Particulate matter will cling to any surface, and piles of boxes or clothing can become a hidden source of allergens in your home. Put away your things as often as possible instead of letting them sit out to reduce the total amount of available surface space for dust to settle on.

 

5)      Wear a mask when you clean

Whenever you embark upon an allergen-ridding mission in your home, don’t forget to wear a face mask to avoid accidentally inhaling the very materials you’re trying to avoid. Go for a walk after cleaning the house as well; it will give any residual particles the chance to settle.

 

Allergy season can be overwhelming – let Minch Professional Cleaning Services, LLC, a premier cleaning company in Bucks County, lighten the load for you. Call us at 267-202-4412 for a free estimate on house cleaning, or check out our website for more information on what we offer.

Surprisingly Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products and Where to Find Them

Ecologically safe, non-toxic cleaning products have been with us for decades – remember your mom scrubbing with baking powder?? – but thanks to the Green movement of the last ten years or so, these “eco-products” have grown more and more effective, affordable and readily accessible. They’ve also grown broader in scope, with everything from furniture spritzers to wet wipes being touted as reformulated to be sustainable and safe. We may have 25 years of experience cleaning homes in PA and NJ, but some of these products were even new to us!  If you’re interested in household products that are guaranteed safe for use in homes with pets or small children, take a look at our list of some products you can now find made with new “green” formulas.

Surface Wipes

Surface wipes no longer have to be caustic and fill your office or car with a chemical smell. Instead, you can now buy them in biodegradable versions with “aromatherapeutic” scents like lavender, lemon and aloe, made with all-natural ingredients. These are great for wiping down your desk or keyboard, or using on your dashboard and steering wheel in your car. You can usually buy these at any store like Target or Walmart.

Furniture Cleaner

For furniture materials that require a little extra care, such as wood, lacquer and upholstery, experts generally recommend using a formula designed specifically for use on these materials. Unfortunately, furniture cleaner can be made with materials that are unsafe for pets or children, which makes them something you may want to avoid having in your home. Archer Hard Goods, however, makes a furniture spritzer that is plant-based and “people safe, plant safe, child safe, pet safe and marine safe.”

Cleaning Solutions

They may be a little on the pricey side, but with Wholefoods’ Eco-Scale system, where all Wholefoods products must list their full ingredients and are rated and 3rd party verified, it’s easy to find cleaning solutions that are guaranteed safe for your home. Wholefoods only accepts products in the scale’s range of orange (no phosphates, chlorine or fake colors), yellow (100% natural fragrances and minimal safety concerns) and green (100% natural, non-petroleum ingredients). Cleaning solutions in particular are an important substance we use quite often to sanitize our kitchens and bathrooms, so following these standards could help you ensure you aren’t using a cleaning solution that’s damaging to both your health and the environment. Increasingly, other grocery stores and drugstores will also carry reasonably priced, eco-friendly brands as well.

Drain Cleaners and Decloggers

Yep, you can get these in a green version, too! Drano and other industrial-strength drain cleaners may be very effective in clearing clogged pipes, but many people worry about having them in their homes because they are notorious for being made with dangerous chemicals that aren’t safe for the environment. Citra-Drain is an “enzymatic” cleaner that uses organic substances instead of super-caustic chemicals to break apart grease, oil and soap residues.

For more surprising and interesting tips and advice on housekeeping, visit our website or call our cleaning company located in PA and NJ for a FREE estimate on house cleaning.

The Quick Hard Floor Care Tip Sheet

If you have a hard floor surface like tile, linoleum or hardwood installed in your home, you get to enjoy the beauty of gleaming floors without the allergy risks and high maintenance of carpeting. To get the most out of your floors, read these tips from Minch Professional Cleaning Services, LLC so that you know what kind of cleaning care is best for each type of flooring.

linoleum

Tile Floor

With a little regular cleaning and the occasional spot treatment, your tile floors will keep their original elegance. Our general tips for tile floor care are simple. To keep your tile floors beautiful and low-maintenance, give them a light general cleaning once a week. Before cleaning, sweep or vacuum the floor to remove dust. Then, clean them with a lightly dampened mop. Only wash your tile floors with products specifically meant for tile: never use cleaners that contain wax, oil, acid or bleach.

If your tiles are unglazed, your maintenance routine will differ slightly. For unglazed tiles, you need to use a tile cleaner with a neutral pH. Always spot test the cleaner first. Use a sealer on grout and always rinse the tile with water after cleaning. Use clear cleaning agents only; otherwise, unglazed tile will stain.

Linoleum Floor

Some homeowners mistakenly believe that linoleum flooring can handle harsh chemicals, but this idea is far from the truth. Linoleum is highly sensitive to harsh cleaners and abrasive chemicals, so be careful about what you use to clean your floors. Plain water or water mixed with dish detergent will suit most cleaning tasks. If you do need something more heavy-duty, only use linoleum-specific cleaners, and never use ammonia-based products.

For weekly cleaning, first sweep and vacuum with soft bristled brooms and vacuum attachments. Then wash with a moist (but not soaking wet) mop. This routine will keep your floors bright. If your floors look dull, use a linoleum polish. First wash and let dry, then polish in small batches and wait an hour after polishing to use the floor again.

Linoleum is sensitive to spills and water damage. If you spill water on your linoleum floors, clean it up immediately. Use a soft material like microfiber cloth instead of abrasive sponges.

Hardwood Floor

Hardwood floor is easily one of the most beautiful hard floor surfaces that you can have in your home. To keep it clean and shining, however, hardwood floor requires some extra care. It is important to avoid scratching your hardwood floor. Take precautions against scratches by putting mats down in high-traffic areas and covering furniture bases with pads. Don’t drag furniture when you have to move it, and try to avoid wearing hard shoes in the house, especially stilettos. And never damp mop your hardwood floors!

If your hardwood floors are finished with polyurethane, your care routine will be easy. Mop, sweep or vacuum once a week, using your vacuum’s bare floor attachments to avoid scratching. Apply a surface finish when the floor looks dull even after cleaning. If you have wax- or stain-finished hardwood floors, clean them regularly and buff them for shine. If buffing doesn’t help them to shine, re-wax them. Only re-wax your floors once or twice a year.

Want more floor care tips from Minch Professional Cleaning Services, LLC? Check for new blog entries each month and explore our website for the best floor care in the Bucks County area.