FAQ2019-02-10T02:40:48+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Hire A Housekeeper?2019-02-10T03:24:38+00:00

Deciding whether or not to use a housekeeping service sets off a whole chain of follow-up questions. These will either send you on a wild goose chase in personal planning, or lead to an efficient, affordable new way to manage your time and energy. Ideally, your choice will mean improved quality of life, with more time for the activities you truly value.

The Scene at Home

Your household may be headed by a working couple, one stay-at-home and one working partner, or a single working person. In each case, your time and energy are no doubt fully occupied and even spread a little thin.

Most of us juggle like crazy, balancing work, commute, children and family life against outdoor activities, life-enriching hobbies, friends, and just plain free time. Somewhere in this mix, we squeeze in household chores, trying to maintain a calm, pleasant living environment at best, or a barely livable degree of order at the very least. If your surroundings lean more to the barely livable scenario, it may be time to look at the advantages and how-to’s of hiring a housekeeper.

Should I Hire a Housekeeper

Here are some useful questions to review as you consider the options.

1. What are the benefits, besides a cleaner home?

Some couples successfully work out a fair split of household chores, but many find themselves engaged in a tug-of-war over the issue that can escalate to serious disagreements. Aside from those few, blessed individuals who enjoy cleaning, most of us are willing to give up the heavier duties to outside help. Eliminating one possible source of conflict at home is nothing short of priceless.

Less time spent on the drudgery of house cleaning means more time to move your life forward, accomplish valuable projects, and be there for your job and family demands.

2. How much will a housekeeper really improve my/our life?

Research abounds showing that a truly clean, orderly house is a sure way to improve mental and physical health. Indoor air quality is directly affected by cleanliness, potentially carrying a high load of dust mites, mold, pollen, pet dander, and even chemical emissions from our cleaning products and synthetic materials. Given the greater and greater amounts of time we spend indoors, our exposures to these toxins and irritants can produce an array of ailments in adults and children.1

Many families today are housing multiple generations under one roof. If you have elderly family members living with you, or if you are concerned about an aging parent’s waning ability to keep up their own households, a cleaning service will improve their quality of life along with yours. Simple differences, like keeping floors clean and uncluttered, can eliminate trip hazards that could result in life-changing injuries for frail elders.

3. How do I evaluate a housekeeping service?

The first step is deciding whether to hire an individual or a house cleaning services provider. There are multiple advantages in choosing a company over an individual, many having to do with the complexities of the employer-employee relationship.

Take a little time to carefully screen your choice of company, for your own protection and satisfaction. Be sure they are bonded and insured. Read online reviews for customer feedback, or ask friends for recommendations. Be sure they check each employee’s background and legal work status.

The company will take care of any tax reporting requirements, and negotiate wages. This means that you are relieved of confronting problems or dissatisfaction with an individual cleaner.

Hiring an individual places all the above duties in your court, plus, it means relying entirely on one person who may be sick or unable to keep a schedule. A company usually supplies a team of cleaners who can do a more thorough job on a wider range of duties, probably in a comparable time frame.

4. How should I assign duties, and what results can I expect?

Part of your pre-planning should entail outlining exactly where you feel you need the most help, and what you would like the service to accomplish. Think about which chores you can easily do yourself on a regular basis, and which you will gladly give up. Include those that you never seem to get to, but that can make a vast improvement in your feeling of order at home.

This step will help you decide how frequently you should schedule service, whether every two weeks, weekly, or even daily, if your household is extremely active or large.

Generate a list of chores for your regular weekly or bi-weekly service so that your expectations are clear in advance. Think about adding one or two special big or heavy-duty tasks that can be assigned on a monthly basis. Check to see if your service offers optional home organizing to reign in clutter and straighten up closets and cupboards.

Ask about a trial period of a few weeks and establish the options if you wish to switch one employee out and try another to achieve a comfortable fit for you and your family.

5. How can I maintain privacy and set boundaries?

This very important step is key to a long and fruitful relationship with your cleaning provider. When negotiating with the company—yes, the start of this relationship is a negotiation—establish the rules and limits of how you’d like your cleaning team to operate in your home, and which areas, if any, are off limits.

Follow a few common sense rules yourself, like putting away valuables and cash. Shut down your computer if you are not home. Communicate in advance if cleaners should not be allowed to use your phone, turn on the television or radio, or use your computers.

6. Can I really afford this? How much should I expect to pay?

Budgeting is the final and perhaps most important pre-planning step. If it is really a difficult squeeze to add the service, consider just a monthly deep cleaning visit. This can improve your chances of maintaining a clean, healthy environment, delivering some of the benefits outlined above. As a result, daily and weekly upkeep in between services becomes much easier.

The right cleaning service, like 2 Local Gals Housekeeping, should be a model of the service they offer. In other words, they should be well-organized, on time, show up in clean uniforms, with fresh cleaning supplies, and a smile.

What Are The Benefits Of A Clean & Healthy Home?2019-02-15T06:53:31+00:00

A healthy lifestyle begins with a healthy home. Living in a clean environment is so important to your physical health as well as your overall sense of well-being. Did you know that a single bacteria can grow into over eight million in a single day? In addition to keeping germs from multiplying, regular cleaning discourages insects from sharing your living quarters.

You can breathe easier in a freshly cleaned home, especially if you or a family member has allergies. Thorough cleaning can reduce the number of dust mites – one of the leading causes of allergies. Living in an uncluttered environment also helps to reduce distractions and improve concentration – two important factors for kids with homework assignments or even adults working in a home office. Overall, a clean and healthy environment lowers stress and contributes to a positive outlook on life.

The Benefits of a Clean and Healthy Home Infographic

Does A Clean House Help My Mood?2019-02-15T06:52:38+00:00

If you’re trying to step up your game at work or have a less chaotic personal life, getting your home in order may seem low on the priorities list. However, organizing your shoes and decluttering your closet may be just the right first step to getting the other aspects of your life in order.

By having your living space clean and well organized, you eliminate many distractions and irritations. Instead of wasting time looking for misplaced items, replacing lost things, and worrying about the condition of your home, you can spend that time and energy on staying focused at work or spending quality time with significant others and family.

Minor irritations like misplaced keys or late bills add up, and detract from our ability to focus on more important matters. By getting your home in order, you can eliminate these problems, and start a chain reaction of positivity and organization that will boost your performance at work and spill over into your personal life.

Organized home equals organized life checklist

What Are Common Cleaning Mistakes?2019-02-15T07:21:08+00:00

Avoid These 10 Common Spring Cleaning Mistakes

You’ve decided it’s finally time to buckle down and do a thorough spring cleaning, and you’re going to do it the right way this year. That means tackling the garage (which currently holds no cars, but lots of boxes and clutter) and the basement (you’re not even sure what’s down there and not sure you want to find out!).

Before you dive in and devote your entire weekend to tackling grime and clutter, let’s look at some common spring cleaning mistakes and how to avoid them.

Mopping a hardwood Floor 

Mistake #1: Not planning ahead

If you don’t plan out how you’re going to tackle your spring cleaning, you may find yourself with an overwhelming number of unfinished projects all over the house. Plan out which rooms you’re going to clean, in what order (tip: get your least favorite rooms out of the way first), and work your way through them one by one. Even if you’re considering hiring a housekeeping service to help you with your spring cleaning, it’s still important to plan in advance so you can delegate tasks to your maid/house cleaning person.

Mistake #2: Keeping too much stuff

Are you ever going to use that croquet set that’s been collecting dust in your garage for the last 15 years? And do you really need six bins full of bows and wrapping paper? Many of us hold on to things “just in case” we need them some day. What we end up with is stacks of boxes that we haven’t opened in years, or even decades. Start out by identifying the things you truly know you don’t need or want —like that t-shirt with the corporate logo that’s three sizes too big. Start with the easy things, sorting every item into one of three piles: a “keep” pile, a “get rid of” pile, and a “not sure” pile.

Mistake #3: Letting go of too much stuff

On the flip side, it is possible to get rid of too much. This can especially be a problem for obsessive purgers who feel compelled to rid their homes of clutter at every turn. Before you hastily donate that old watch or vase that’s been tucked away in the back of the cupboard for years, make sure it’s not an antique that’s worth real money. As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Mistake #4: Trying to do it all yourself
If you don’t have teenagers at home or a friend to call on for help, consider using a house cleaning service. Spring cleaning is a big undertaking, and trying to do it all yourself can lead to exhaustion, injury, or just plain old procrastination. Four hands (or more) are better than two when getting through a big job!

Mistake #5: Avoiding the difficult deep cleaning

It stinks (literally), but, if you want a truly clean house, you’re going to have to do the dirty work. That means scrubbing away at the stuck-on-grease from the cabinets above your stovetop, and getting into the nooks and crannies and hard-to-reach places. The kitchen and bathrooms often take the most “elbow grease”—so for these heavy-duty cleaning projects, you may consider getting help.

Spring cleaning supplies

Mistake #6: Not having the right tools

Consider yourself a spring cleaning warrior preparing for battle! Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but spring cleaning is a big undertaking, and you’ll need the right tools for the job. The basics include a broom and dustpan, plenty of cleaning cloths (flour sack towels work well), a bucket, sponges and heavy duty scrubbers, twine and/or rubber bands (for tying up newspapers, tying up wrapping paper, etc.), glass cleaner, and other household cleaners. For natural, plant-based products, seventhgeneration is a good choice.

Mistake #7: Scrubbing too soon

Our instinct is often to spray a surface like tile with cleaner and immediately start scrubbing. But many cleaners need to sit for at least 10 minutes for their surfactant (and disinfectant) properties to start working. Practice this rule: spray, and walk away. Come back 10 or 20 minutes later, and you’ll be amazed at how much easier is it to wipe away the grime and grit. The bonus: conserving precious energy!

Mistake #8: Trying to get it done in one day (or weekend)

The reality is that if you’re tackling a major overhaul that includes not only cleaning the house but also going through the garage, basement, and/or attic, it’s probably going to take longer than a day, or even a full weekend. Real spring cleaning involves moving/dismantling furniture, taking down and washing curtains and window dressings, de-griming surfaces, etc., so don’t expect it to happen in a flash. Take the time you need to get it done right. You’ll feel accomplished and relieved once it’s done.

Girl washing windows

Mistake #9: Cleaning windows while it’s warm and sunny

You wipe and wipe and wipe, and still can’t seem to get that window clean. It’s a common mistake to clean windows while the sun is out, when the heat of the sun will cause the window cleaner to dry more quickly—leading to annoying streaking. Choose a cloudy day to clean the windows, or wait until it’s 70 degrees or cooler to start. If you live in the desert and it’s summertime, wait until night falls and clean smaller areas at a time to ensure the cleaning solution doesn’t evaporate before you can get to it.

Mistake #10: Waiting until spring!

Getting into daily habits and routines of putting things away and cleaning as you go can make a tremendous difference and help you avoid annual spring cleaning events. Try putting a squeegee in the shower and wiping down the shower walls and door after each shower, tackling clutter before it piles up, and keeping a “donation” basket out all the time where you can put those items you plan to give away, so they don’t pile up in closets and cupboards (and every family’s favorite dumping ground: the garage). If your family embraces everyday tidiness, your next spring cleaning project could be years down the road!

Are There Any Cleaning Mistakes I Can Avoid?2019-02-10T03:16:53+00:00

Avoid These 10 Common Spring Cleaning Mistakes

You’ve decided it’s finally time to buckle down and do a thorough spring cleaning, and you’re going to do it the right way this year. That means tackling the garage (which currently holds no cars, but lots of boxes and clutter) and the basement (you’re not even sure what’s down there and not sure you want to find out!).

Before you dive in and devote your entire weekend to tackling grime and clutter, let’s look at some common spring cleaning mistakes and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not planning ahead

If you don’t plan out how you’re going to tackle your spring cleaning, you may find yourself with an overwhelming number of unfinished projects all over the house. Plan out which rooms you’re going to clean, in what order (tip: get your least favorite rooms out of the way first), and work your way through them one by one.

Even if you’re considering hiring a housekeeping service to help you with your spring cleaning, it’s still important to plan in advance so you can delegate tasks to your maid/house cleaning person.

Mistake #2: Keeping too much stuff

Are you ever going to use that croquet set that’s been collecting dust in your garage for the last 15 years? And do you really need six bins full of bows and wrapping paper? Many of us hold on to things “just in case” we need them some day. What we end up with is stacks of boxes that we haven’t opened in years, or even decades.

Start out by identifying the things you truly know you don’t need or want —like that t-shirt with the corporate logo that’s three sizes too big. Start with the easy things, sorting every item into one of three piles: a “keep” pile, a “get rid of” pile, and a “not sure” pile.

Mistake #3: Letting go of too much stuff

On the flip side, it is possible to get rid of too much. This can especially be a problem for obsessive purgers who feel compelled to rid their homes of clutter at every turn. Before you hastily donate that old watch or vase that’s been tucked away in the back of the cupboard for years, make sure it’s not an antique that’s worth real money.

As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Mistake #4: Trying to do it all yourself

If you don’t have teenagers at home or a friend to call on for help, consider using a house cleaning service. Spring cleaning is a big undertaking, and trying to do it all yourself can lead to exhaustion, injury, or just plain old procrastination. Four hands (or more) are better than two when getting through a big job!

Mistake #5: Avoiding the difficult deep cleaning

It stinks (literally), but, if you want a truly clean house, you’re going to have to do the dirty work. That means scrubbing away at the stuck-on-grease from the cabinets above your stovetop, and getting into the nooks and crannies and hard-to-reach places. The kitchen and bathrooms often take the most “elbow grease”—so for these heavy-duty cleaning projects, you may consider getting help.

Mistake #6: Not having the right tools

Consider yourself a spring cleaning warrior preparing for battle! Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but spring cleaning is a big undertaking, and you’ll need the right tools for the job.

The basics include a broom and dustpan, plenty of cleaning cloths (flour sack towels work well), a bucket, sponges and heavy duty scrubbers, twine and/or rubber bands (for tying up newspapers, tying up wrapping paper, etc.), glass cleaner, and other household cleaners. For natural, plant-based products, seventh generation is a good choice.

Mistake #7: Scrubbing too soon

Our instinct is often to spray a surface like tile with cleaner and immediately start scrubbing. But many cleaners need to sit for at least 10 minutes for their surfactant (and disinfectant) properties to start working.

Practice this rule: spray, and walk away. Come back 10 or 20 minutes later, and you’ll be amazed at how much easier is it to wipe away the grime and grit. The bonus: conserving precious energy!

Mistake #8: Trying to get it done in one day (or weekend)

The reality is that if you’re tackling a major overhaul that includes not only cleaning the house but also going through the garage, basement, and/or attic, it’s probably going to take longer than a day, or even a full weekend.

Real spring cleaning involves moving/dismantling furniture, taking down and washing curtains and window dressings, de-griming surfaces, etc., so don’t expect it to happen in a flash. Take the time you need to get it done right. You’ll feel accomplished and relieved once it’s done.

Mistake #9: Cleaning windows while it’s warm and sunny

You wipe and wipe and wipe, and still can’t seem to get that window clean. It’s a common mistake to clean windows while the sun is out, when the heat of the sun will cause the window cleaner to dry more quickly—leading to annoying streaking.

Choose a cloudy day to clean the windows, or wait until it’s 70 degrees or cooler to start. If you live in the desert and it’s summertime, wait until night falls and clean smaller areas at a time to ensure the cleaning solution doesn’t evaporate before you can get to it.

Mistake #10: Waiting until spring!

Getting into daily habits and routines of putting things away and cleaning as you go can make a tremendous difference and help you avoid annual spring cleaning events.

Try putting a squeegee in the shower and wiping down the shower walls and door after each shower, tackling clutter before it piles up, and keeping a “donation” basket out all the time where you can put those items you plan to give away, so they don’t pile up in closets and cupboards (and every family’s favorite dumping ground: the garage).

If your family embraces everyday tidiness, your next spring cleaning project could be years down the road!

How Do I Know If I Need A Cleaning Service?2019-02-10T03:14:35+00:00

Top 8 Signs It’s Time to Hire a Housekeeping Service

Americans are busier today than ever before – stretched to the limit by work, school, parenting, and elder care responsibilities. House cleaning services can help modern families have more of life’s most valuable commodity – time.

Adults are working more hours and often continue to labor when they arrive home via telecommuting. Also, many in the “sandwich generation” must not only attend school plays and chauffer their children to soccer practice, they must also see to the needs of grandparents or parents – taking them to doctor’s appointments, helping them with household tasks, etc.. Finding a little downtime for themselves or time to spend on leisurely family activities can be nearly impossible.

One way working adults can claim back a little of their “me” time is by hiring a professional house cleaning service to take care of their household cleaning needs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals over the age of 15 spend on average about 21 hours per week on unpaid household labor – preparing meals, cleaning, laundry, sewing, maintenance, and repair.

Hiring a house cleaning service can help men and women reclaim valuable time they can spend on hobbies, spending time with family and friends, or just resting and recharging.

When It’s Time to Hire a Housekeeper

If you’re not sure whether hiring a house cleaner is right for you and your family, consider these tips for knowing when to put down the Swiffer and call in a professional:

  • If you’re working long hours – Whether you’re a mechanic in an auto shop or a white collar office worker, long hours at work take a lot out of you physically and mentally. Having to come home to a mountain of laundry or a sink full of dishes isn’t going to help your stress or fatigue levels. Having a professional house cleaner take care of the cleaning leaves you better able to focus on your work.
  • If cleaning isn’t your thing – We all have different talents and different weak spots. Some people just aren’t good at cleaning and end up spending hours doing a poor job on tasks other people can complete quickly and nearly effortlessly. If you’re spending hours on a no-win battle against dust, dirt, and laundry, calling in a maid service might be a good idea. Maids specialize in cleaning, it’s their job. Leaving cleaning in their hands ensures that the job gets done right.
  • Special occasions – Some households don’t require a regular maid, they just need help getting ready for special occasions like engagement parties, weddings, birthday parties, and other events. A cleaning service can help organize your home to prepare for special days in the life of your family. For once-in-a-lifetime events, you want your home to be in top condition. Cleaners make this much easier and are often more effective in deep cleaning than individuals busy with invitations, guest lists, catering, and other tasks.
  • Do the math – Calculate how much you get paid per hour at work and determine how many hours you spend per week on cleaning tasks like mopping, laundry, vacuuming, etc. Then consider how much a weekly or monthly maid service would cost. Chances are that hiring a cleaner would be cheaper than the amount you would pay yourself for these tasks.
  • Helping your parents – Many men and women today are taking care of their parents and grandparents as they get older, helping them with various household tasks such as lawn care and cleaning. This detracts from the time that they can spend on their own homes or on leisure activities. Hiring a maid service can provide your parents or grandparents with top-notch cleaning, and you with a little down time.
  • Lack of leisure time – When’s the last time you had a drink with your co-workers? When did you last get to go on a vacation or just to a movie? If it’s been a while, you may want to consider cutting down on your home cleaning commitments to free up time to do the things you love. A few hours saved each week can add up over the course of a year to quite a bit of free time.
  • Getting ready to sell – If you’re preparing to sell your home, it pays to have it cleaned by professionals. Appearances are everything when it comes to selling real estate, and a deep cleaning by professional cleaners can help get your home ready for prospective buyers. Professional cleaners have the tools and training to get your house back into mint condition, allowing you to negotiate higher sale prices from people interested in buying your home.
  • Consider your health – Chemicals associated with cleaning such as sprays, bleach, or mopping solution can be harmful to the health of people with respiratory or other medical issues. If you feel ill after cleaning, or if the tasks involved exhaust you, hiring a cleaning service will help ensure that your home stays clean and you stay healthy.

Downtime Essential for Health

Finding time for rest and leisure activities is important for physical and mental health. Experts suggest that adults get at least eight hours of sleep per night to maintain good physical and mental health. Studies also warn that adults who work more than 60 hours per week are at greater risk for heart attack.

While you may not be able to reduce your hours on the job, you can reduce the amount of time you spend on tedious cleaning and maintenance tasks at home by hiring a professional cleaning service. 2 Local Gals Housekeeping provides professional house and office cleaning services to cities in Utah and Florida. Clients can rely on 2 Local Gals for quality housekeeping services as well as home organization help.

Stop wasting valuable time you could be spending on the people and activities you love. Leave the drudgery to 2 Local Gals and see how the minimal investment you spend hiring a cleaning service yield dividends in better quality of life and a pristine living space.

Is There A Cleaning Checklist To Help Me Cover All The Bases?2019-02-15T06:50:59+00:00

Cleaning Checklist Room by Room

Whether warmer weather is here, which means it’s time to start your spring cleaning.. Or it’s heading into winter and it’s time to get rid of that you don’t need. Where should you start? Whether you want to clean a single room, or your entire house, this spring cleaning checklist is perfect for letting you know what needs to be done.. Any time of the year!

When cleaning, many people start cleaning high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen, living room, or dining room. All of these areas need to be cleaned regularly, so doing some deep cleaning is a great idea. Additionally, any bedrooms and closets should also be deep cleaned at this time. This gives you a great opportunity to go through your belongings and get rid of any clutter or unused items.

Cleaning doesn’t have to be overwhelming. When you take it room by room with this spring cleaning checklist, you’re able to get rid of clutter, do a little bit of dusting, and have a wonderfully clean home.

Spring Cleaning Checklist Infographic

How Can I Save Time Doing Housework?2019-02-15T06:50:04+00:00

Tips for Saving Time on Household Work

Between work and raising kids, taking the time to give your home the cleaning it needs can be tough. As modern lifestyles put more pressure on schedules and technology enables work to intrude into home life, finding ways to quickly and efficiently clean can help take some of the stress out of daily life.

Planning goes a long way toward reducing the amount of time spent on cleaning. Before getting started, identify your cleaning needs, gather the materials, and budget your time. By focusing on specific tasks and cleaning one room at a time, you can clean a bathroom, two bedrooms, the kitchen, and your living room in about an hour.

Women still pick up the biggest share of housecleaning duty. A recent study found that about 73 percent of working moms handle end-of-day cleaning chores. Finding ways to clean more efficiently will give these hard-working moms a little more time to rest after a busy day.

Save Time Doing Household Work Infographic

What Do I Do When I Go Out Of Town?2019-02-15T06:48:31+00:00

2 Local Gals’ Home Watch Checklist

We all want the peace of mind of knowing that our home is safe while we’re away. Homes can be susceptible to burglary, especially when the occupants leave for an extended period of time.

2 Local Gals can help ease your mind by providing a number of services while you’re gone, so that the safety and maintenance of your home is never compromised.

Here are some examples of the things we can do for you:

  • Pick up mail and newspapers
  • Check the exterior and interior for problems or vandalism
  • Take garbage cans out to the curb
  • Inspect doors and windows for signs of tampering
  • Water your plants

These are just some examples in the vast array of services we can provide during your absence. We will meet with you beforehand to put together a detailed, personalized checklist of items you’d like us to keep an eye on. While you’re gone, we’ll provide you with updates via our home-watch software system, so you can see for yourself any issues that arise.

See the infographic below for a detailed explanation of our offerings.

Going Out of Town Checklist Infographic

Do You Have Any Tips For Cleaning My Bathroom?2019-02-15T06:46:16+00:00

How to Deep Clean Your Bathroom Like a Pro

You’ve been putting it off for weeks—maybe even months: the dreaded chore of deep cleaning the bathroom. Meanwhile, the bathtub has gotten grimier, the sink ickier, and, well, we won’t even talk about what’s behind the toilet bowl.

Deep cleaning your bathroom requires some “elbow grease”—your back and shoulders will definitely get a workout. If you can’t do a deep cleaning yourself because you’re too busy, you have physical limitations, or you simply don’t like doing it, hiring a maid service for house cleaning help is an ideal solution, especially for more physically demanding tasks like scrubbing the shower/bathtub, and interior and exterior window cleaning.

Woman deep cleaning bathroom

Keeping your bathroom(s) spic and span is important not only for appearance’s sake, but also to keep nasty germs at bay. Here’s the deal: Our environment (and our bodies) are covered in germs—from single-celled bacteria, to viruses, to fungi and protozoa. Trying to get rid of germs is an effort in futility, and we wouldn’t want to eliminate them all, in any case, since most of these microscopic hitchhikers are harmless and can even help keep us healthy.

While the majority of germs pose no risk to our health, there are some bad apples that can make us sick, like E. coli and Staph aureus. It’s these tiny troublemakers we need to avoid.

Ahead we’ll explore tricks for easier cleaning without endless scrubbing, and we’ll look at how to make your own germ-killing, non-toxic cleaners using ingredients found right in your kitchen. First, let’s talk germs.

Toddler brushing teeth

The “Bad Bugs” That Could Be Lurking in Your Bathroom

Only 1-2% of germs are pathogenic (meaning they can make us sick), but we still need to be cautious of them. Here are some bugs that could be making a cozy home in your bathroom:

  • Enteric pathogens like SalmonellaE. coli, and Campylobacter are spread through food contamination and can be carried in feces. Some of these organisms can cause severe diarrhea, which can lead to more serious health problems, especially for young children and seniors, whose immune systems are more vulnerable.
  • Fungi such as the species that cause athlete’s foot can be picked up when walking barefoot in the bathroom (which is inevitable, isn’t it?). Residual fungi like mold and mildew can trigger allergies and asthma symptoms.
  • Gastrointestinal viruses, such as norovirus, cause inflammation in the stomach/intestines that leads to stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Skin and respiratory bugs, such as Staphylococcus aureus, the strain responsible for most staph infections; S. aureus can lead to skin infections, pneumonia, and other problems.

The good news is that regular cleaning and good hygiene habits keep your risk of contracting these bacterial, fungal, and viral infections low.

Before we get started with cleaning tips, let’s look at the supplies you’ll need.

Deep Cleaning Supply List

  • Microfiber cloths and/or cotton cleaning towels
  • Toothbrush
  • Scouring pads (made of metal or plastic mesh)
  • Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, tea tree oil, essential oil, lemon juice (more info below)
  • Paper towels
  • Dustpan and broom
  • Bucket
  • Steam cleaner (optional, but recommended for non-toxic germ-killing)
  • Toilet brush

Natural Alternatives to Harsh Cleaning Products

You can effectively clean and kill germs using natural products. Parents who have kids with asthma, allergies, or other sensitivities already know the advantages of using non-toxic products to avoid triggering wheezing, skin reactions, and other problems.

If you’ve ever read the labels on the side of commercial-grade cleaning products, there’s typically a laundry list of potential dangers, including eye, respiratory, and skin irritation. There’s no doubt these cleaners are powerful germ and grime killers, and they may very well be necessary if your bathroom has been neglected and you need to bring out the big guns. If not, the natural stuff will probably do the job.

Here are some natural options for cleaning:

  • Vinegar: A weak form of acetic acid, most bacteria can’t survive the acidic pH of vinegar. It has a strong odor while you’re using it, but the smell quickly fades once dry. To make the smell more pleasant, add a few drops of peppermint extract or your favorite essential oil to a solution of equal parts vinegar and water.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: The stuff we’ve used for generations to disinfect scrapes and wounds is also an excellent non-toxic cleaner for your bathroom. It also makes a great no-streak window cleaner. Fill a spray bottle and use to disinfect surfaces.
  • Baking soda: Not only does it make your cookies soft and fluffy, baking soda also works wonders on mold and mildew, which are common problems in frequently humid bathrooms. Apply baking soda to dirty grout and use it to scrub away dirt, grime, and mildew from the sink, shower, toilet bowl—even the shower curtain.
  • Tea tree oil: This versatile oil (extracted from the leaves of a tree native to Australia) has natural antiseptic properties, giving it a surprising variety of uses, from treating acne, to freshening laundry, to killing mold and mildew.

Lemon dropped in water

DIY Recipes for Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly Cleaners

  • All-purpose cleaner: Mix 3 cups of water, ½ cup of vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon of tea tree oil drops tea tree oil into a spray bottle for use on all washable surfaces.
  • Abrasive, scrubbing paste: Mix one part lemon juice with two parts baking soda for a deodorizing paste that can be used to scrub mildew and grime from the shower, tub, sink, and other surfaces.
  • Glass cleaner: Use undiluted white vinegar or undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide for squeaky clean glass.
  • Mold cleaner: Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with two parts water into a spray bottle. Spray onto areas with mold/mildew, and wait at least an hour before rinsing.

If making natural cleaners isn’t your thing, there are plenty of non-toxic cleaners made from plant-derived cleaning agents, like Seventh Generation products, available at your local retailers.

Okay, now that we’ve covered the supplies you’ll need and explored how to make your own natural cleaning products, let’s get down to the nitty gritty with some cleaning tips and tricks.

Turn up the tunes, grab your cleaning supplies, and let’s get started!

Shower/Bathtub

A solution of one part non-toxic dishwashing detergent and vinegar is excellent for getting rid of soap scum. Apply and use a scouring pad to work off the grime. Using a steam cleaner beforehand will make scrubbing easier. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, running the shower for one minute using hot water will have a similar effect.

A paste of baking soda and lemon juice is good for scrubbing the shower pan/bathtub. If you have doors on your shower rather than a shower curtain, it’s likely you have at least some mold build-up in the cracks and crevices of the doors—a toothbrush will come in handy here.

Your shower head makes an ideal home for bacteria, and mineral build up can clog the sprayers. To clean and disinfect the shower head, put a small amount of equal parts water and vinegar into a plastic bag and secure it around the shower head with a rubber band. Leave it on overnight, remove, and run the water to clear it out.

If you have a shower curtain, toss it along with the plastic liner (if applicable) right into the washing machine on a warm water setting. If the outer shower curtain is fabric, you should be able to dry it in the dryer on a low heat setting. Meanwhile, hang the plastic curtain back up to dry completely. You’ll be amazed at how well the washing machine cleans the curtain and liner.

Walls

Scrubbing down walls isn’t typically part of the cleaning routine for most of us, but bathrooms are one place where it’s needed, since bathroom walls can easily collect residue from frequent heat/steam. If you’re noticing strange yellow-tinged droplets on your walls and ceiling, this is an indication that you need to improve the ventilation in your bathroom. Moisture and humidity cause beads of water to condense and stick to the walls, trapping dirt and other contaminants in the process.

To eliminate this problem, make a habit of open a window after showering. If your bathroom has no windows, make sure you have an operable exhaust fan, and run it during and after bathroom use until surfaces are completely dry. To scrub walls clean, use a 1:1 solution of water-vinegar, or, alternatively, hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, and wipe down with a cleaning cloth.

Medicine/Storage Cabinets

It’s amazing how much dust can collect on the inside of medicine and storage cabinets. Removing everything from the cabinets and wiping down shelves is one of those annoyingly time-consuming chores, but it’s worth it, since it also gives you the opportunity to purge old toiletries, medications, and other products in the process. Learn how/where to dispose of old medications and partially used toiletries.

Toilet

“I love cleaning the toilet,” said no one ever, but, alas, it must be done. A steam cleaner is great for killing germs in and around the toilet. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, use a toothbrush with a 1:1 water/vinegar solution and baking soda/lemon juice paste to clean inside the bowl. Spray a vinegar/water solution on the base, outer bowl and tank, toilet seat and lid, and wipe down with a rag/cleaning cloth for a squeaky clean, disinfected toilet, inside and out.

Clean Toilet in a Clean Bathroom

Counter/Sink/Faucet

Cleaning countertops is pretty straightforward … unless you have a tile countertop with moldy grout. To get grout clean, mix 3% hydrogen peroxide and water (1:1 ratio) in a spray bottle. Spray the grout until it’s completely saturated, and wait an hour. Scrub grout with a toothbrush, rinse well, and wipe dry.

Most countertops (granite, tile, Formica, etc.) will come clean with a vinegar and water solution. A baking soda/lemon juice paste will help remove soap scum from the sink. Spray the faucet with a vinegar/water solution and wipe down. If your faucet is scummy/moldy, use the same trick we describedearlier for the shower head.

Running Water From Bathtub Faucet


Mirrors/Windows/Windowsills

Streaks are so annoying. Thankfully, either white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide (3%) does a great job of getting mirrors and windows clean with no streaks. Use newspaper or a microfiber cloth for best results. A vinegar/water solution works well to clean windowsills.

Clean Bathroom Floor

Floor

You’re almost done! It makes sense to clean the floor last, since you’ll be walking through your bathroom to clean other areas, and water will inevitably drip onto the floor. Remove everything from the floor, including area rugs, the wastebasket and magazine rack, etc. Next, sweep or vacuum the floors to remove debris.

If you have tile floors, a steam cleaner is ideal to get the tile and grout clean and disinfected, and for cleaning around the base boards and behind the toilet. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, dunk microfiber cloth into a bucket of warm water and vinegar, and wipe along baseboards. Wash down the floors with the same vinegar/water solution, whether you do it the old fashioned way (on hands and knees) or with a mop.

We hope our guide to deep cleaning your bathroom has been helpful and fun to read. If you’d prefer to leave your next deep cleaning in the hands of a pro, the expert house cleaners at 2 Local Gals can help—contact us today to schedule a visit.

If you’d prefer to leave your next deep cleaning in the hands of a pro, the expert house cleaners at 2 Local Gals can help — contact us today to schedule a visit.

Can Cleaning Help My Allergies?2019-02-15T07:16:41+00:00

Cleaning Tips for Allergy Proofing Your House

Were you aware that more than half of the population has at least one type of allergen, if not several? Allergies are among the top 5 chronic disease recorded in the United States. While most people might think allergens are typically found outdoors, they would be greatly mistaken. In fact, most of the allergens people experience come from polluted indoor air.
Dealing with allergens in the home, like dust, mold, mildew, dust mites, and others, can seem challenging. There are several effective methods to reduce the number of allergens in your home to make it more allergy-proof.

For instance, in the bedroom, it is important to wash all bedding, including pillow cases, comforters, sheets, and mattress pads, on a regular basis to remove allergens. It is also recommended to use zip-up, protective mattress covers and pillow case covers to prevent dust mites from getting into pillows and the mattress.

For more cleaning tips to reduce the number of allergens in your home, feel free to review the following infographic in greater detail.

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385-425-6762

HOURS

Monday – Sunday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

ST. GEORGE OFFICE

435-236-3414
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