Author Archives: minch

5 Spots You Might’ve Forgotten to Clean

You just spent the whole Sunday cleaning.

 

Time to take off those rubber gloves, pack up the supplies and lay the mop to rest in the kitchen closet, wishing it bon voyage until next time. You pour a refreshing glass of lemonade and take a much-needed seat on the couch. You should feel utterly accomplished right now.

 

But you don’t.

 

It’s probably because you don’t feel like you cleaned absolutely everywhere you could’ve. You should be marveling at the sight of your spotless home, but you know you forgot something, and you can’t get that thought out of your mind. If only you could put your finger on what it was!

 

Take a gander at these commonly forgotten about areas. Maybe what you’re desperately trying to think of is on this list:

 

  1. Behind the Toilet

Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and just get behind there and wipe down the area behind the toilet. On second thought, maybe keep your eyes open. Either way, it won’t be that bad. Especially if you get it under control and clean it more often than every other time a new president is sworn in.

  1. Behind/Under/Inside the Fridge

Don’t ignore your fridge. Get all the dirt and grime underneath and behind it, then open it up and clean out all the old food, disinfect the drawers and shelves, and make sure to wipe down its coils!

  1. Inside the Oven

Sure, you did a great job scrubbing the stovetop down, but maybe you forgot to get inside the oven. Get those burnt crumbs out of there if you haven’t already!

  1. Baseboards/Mantel

The baseboards might take some bending over on your end, but the extra effort will pay off and be tangible. Don’t forget to clear and clean your mantelpiece either.

  1. Fans

You turn on the ceiling fan on the first warm day of the year. “Wait a second…Is it snowing in the house right now?” That’s actually dust buildup on the topside of the fan blades that you neglected to wipe down. Don’t forget to do so!

  • Bonus—Small Electronic Items

Remotes, cell phones, landline phones, stereo equipment, keyboards and mice, etc. Disinfect these things to help halt the spread of germs.

 

Was it one of those things? We know you’re tired, but we believe in you. Just strap those rubber gloves back on one last time, and get it done. It won’t take too long!

 

If you really don’t feel like it, or still don’t know what you missed, give us a call. We’ll be glad to come out and help clean your home.

 

Our Favorite Carpet Stain Removal Tricks

Spills happen! We’d love to encounter the person who has never accidentally overturned a glass of red wine, open bottle of ketchup or blue-raspberry Italian ice onto someone’s nice, light-colored carpet. Our professional cleaning service in Bucks County specializes in removing the evidence of these embarrassing accidents, but perhaps you’d like to give it a shot yourself. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite tips for getting stubborn stains out of carpets, whether they’re the result of an exaggerated gesture at a dinner party or just come from the regular wear and tear of daily life.

1)      Blot your stains rather than rubbing at them. This is definitely a time-consuming technique, but with the help of chemical cleaning agents and solvents, can be made less so. Rubbing at a stain may logically seem like a faster way to detach any pigmentation from carpet fibers, but will actually spread the staining substance both deeper and further outward. The best approach to take is to use a cleaning substance appropriate to the color and material of your carpet and gently blot at the stain with a little pressure, moving to a new, clean part of your cloth every few blots. Be sure to blot from the outside of the stain inwards, so the stain won’t spread.

2)      Keep shaving cream, soda water and vinegar in your carpet-cleaning arsenal.  You probably have most of these items around anyway, so why not put them to use before investing in new cleaning supplies? Shaving cream can be applied right to the stain and allowed to set for a half hour, after which you can blot it, with the stain, right off. Similarly, club soda can be blotted onto a stain with a cloth to remove it; a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water can be used to the same effect.

3)      Get your stains before they have a chance to dry, but don’t give up on old carpet stains. Your chances of completely removing a stain are much better if you get to it before it has a chance to dry and fully integrate itself into carpet fibers. That being said, don’t throw in the towel if you encounter an old stain – many stains can be removed even if they seem to have become a fixture. Good old baking soda and vinegar may do the trick in many cases; try spreading baking soda over the expanse of the stain, then spray down with a mixture of 50/50 vinegar/water. Let it sit for a few hours, then scrub it with a stiff brush. Vacuum that up on carpet mode, and enjoy your fresh “new” carpet!

4)       Get your carpet deep-cleaned. Deep-cleaning a carpet more or less fills carpet fibers with cleaning solution, agitates the material, then uses water pressure to extract the solution – along with dirt, grime and stain-causing substances. There’s simply no way to remove stains as thoroughly through blotting alone. You can invest in a deep carpet cleaner, but why not let the pros take care of it? At Minch Professional Cleaning, our deep cleaning services are affordable and take away the time and stress involved in doing it yourself.

Caring for Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are a much-desired amenity in a home, and for good reason – they add value and a certain elegant appeal to any kitchen, and are a durable material that will remain beautiful for years with proper care. At Minch Professional Cleaners, our employees are all thoroughly trained in the unique cleaning procedures that must be taken in order to preserve the beauty of your granite tabletops and other fixtures. While our professional cleaning service in Bucks County and surrounding regions will take excellent of all your home’s unique fixtures, we’ve compiled some tips to help you maintain the longevity and luster of your granite tabletops on your own as well!

Perform Daily Care

The best way to make sure that your granite countertop stays as shiny as the day it was installed is to make sure you clean it daily. Luckily, granite is relatively low-maintenance as a material, so it shouldn’t take very long – all you need is warm water and a little bit of dish soap or detergent (use antibacterial if you often use it for food prep of raw meat, eggs or other foods that can contain contaminants). You can wipe the countertop down with a soft cloth or paper towel, but avoid scraping at any “stuck” stains with steel wool or another abrasive material, so that you don’t risk scratching the surface (although granite is very durable and should be scratch-resistant). In addition, although well-sealed granite should repel most fluids, make sure to take care of spills quickly, just in case.

Beware of Hot-Bottomed Dishes and Pans

Stone can warp or change color after repeated exposure to very hot temperatures, and you should be sure to put down protection before placing a hot item on your granite countertops.

Use Degreasers for Heavy-Duty Cleaning

If you’ve neglected your countertops for a bit too long, be sure to invest in a quality stone degreaser made specifically for granite. These products will dissolve dirt and grime without also causing damage to the stone beneath, allowing your granite countertop to be restored to its former glory with relative ease.

Stone poultices/powders are also available to get rid of deep oil stains, but can take off the top layer, thus diminishing the shine. However, marble polish can then be used to restore the gleam.

Remember to Reseal Your Countertops Periodically

Granite isn’t the most porous material, but after some time it can definitely end up absorbing liquids, which leads to discoloration. Luckily it’s relatively easy to reseal a granite tabletop; you can ask your tabletop supplier or a home improvement store for the right type of sealant, which is simply poured on your deep-cleaned countertop, allowed to penetrate the surface for 5 or 10 minutes, then buffed dry and left untouched for 12 hours or more.

For more tips on keeping your home and all its fixtures spic and span and long-lasting, be sure to subscribe to our blog!

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.