Monthly Archives: April 2010

How to clean windows

Cleaning the insides of windows is time consuming, but it can be rather easy with the proper equipment. Do yourself a big favor and purchase a professional quality window squeegee from your local hardware store. Squeegees have been around since the advent of skyscrapers in Chicago, and they needed a streak-free way to clean the many windows. Ettore is the original and leading brand and available in stores everywhere.

Contrary to what you may think, you can clean your windows without a bottle of Windex or even a  single paper towel. You’ll need two buckets, a sponge, a soft cloth, some plain vinegar, and water. A simple solution of warm water and vinegar will cut  right through the dirt on windows and dissolve it.

Make a solution of 1 cup vingar and 1 cup warm water in a bucket. Fill up your other bucket with just plain water. Dip your sponge into the vingegar solution and wipe down the whole window.  Then starting at the top left hand corner of your window, move your squeegee from the top of the window to the bottom in one fluid motion. After each stroke, wipe the rubber edge of your squeegee with the soft rag. Return to the top and repeat, overlapping on the right side of the first stroke a bit. Continue to squeegee until you reach and finish the right edge of your window. Finally, draw the squeegee across the bottom of the window, and dry it with your cloth.

Clean your sponge off in your bucket of plain water and repeat steps for each window. Change your bucket of plain water frequently.

Enjoy your sparkling, clean windows!

To schedule a cleaning or for a FREE quote, give us a call at (312) 829-9600. You can also visit Maid in Chicago’s website and fill out our online form.

How to verify that your cleaning company is actually insured

If you choose to hire a person or company to clean your home, take the 1-2 days it takes to request and receive proof of insurance. Why?  If you are a home owner, it is especially important that your investment is protected. If you are a renter, you still may be liable for damage caused by an uninsured worker.

Maid in Chicago carries both general liability and workman’s compensation insurance. We can provide proof of insurance for our customers with a turn around time of one business day.  Our insurance company will either fax or mail this one or two page document directly to our customers.

Companies that balk when asked for proof of insurance are probably not insured. Once you receive proof of insurance, verify that the policy is in force. Certificates of insurance are worthless if premiums aren’t paid. The time to find out if a company is properly insured is prior to hiring them, not after something is damaged.

To schedule a cleaning or for a FREE quote, give us a call at (312) 829-9600. You can also visit Maid in Chicago’s website and fill out our online form.

green cleaning idea #1 – general cleaner

So you want to be more “green” and don’t know where to begin? Despite all of the cleaning products being marketed as green these days, the answer is easier than you think. With a couple of basics you can easily mix up your own general cleaner. 

You will need a funnel, a large bottle of vinegar, and a heavy duty spray bottle. We recommend the 32 oz. Zep brand professional sprayers. They work well and will last a long time. Any brand of plain white vinegar is fine. Add to the empty spray bottle two inches of white vinegar, then fill the rest of the bottle up with water.

Vinegar water is the perfect general cleaner for the kitchen and around the home. It fights odors and cleans most surfaces such as floors, shower tiles, and kitchen counters. Chefs like cleaning up butcher blocks with it, and pet owners love that it is safe. This solution is also great for cleaning hardwood floors. Note that it is only recommended for “hard surfaces,” not pourous or delicate surfaces such as marble, limestone, or granite.

What makes it so green? Vinegar is of course non-toxic, and because you mix it yourself with water from your faucet, you will use less packaging and generate less waste. You will love how much money you save on cleaning products too.

To schedule a cleaning or for a FREE quote, give us a call at (312) 829-9600. You can also visit Maid in Chicago’s website and fill out our online form.

how to clean hardwood floors

We are frequently asked about cleaning hardwood floors and products that we recommend.

First of all, a note about supplies you will need. Make sure you have a string mop with a detachable head, not a sponge mop or Swiffer. Sponge mops tear easily, tend to push the dirt into the corners, and you can never get them clean. Everyone seems to own a Swiffer these days due to all of the advertising on television. They are fine to spiff up with, but not an effective cleaning tool. The replacement pads are not cheap either. String mops do a great job and are cost effective because the detachable heads can be used over and over again. Simply put the used mop heads in your washing machine when you are finished, and you will always have a fresh clean mop to start with the next time you clean your floors.

We recommend Murphy Oil Soap which is a mild cleaner for hardwood floors. The only caveat though is to not follow the directions on the bottle. Fill a bucket up with water and add a quarter cap (not a full cap) of Murphy’s. Otherwise you will end up with a dull film on your hardwood floors. You can add a squirt of dishwashing liquid to that if you want. Alternatively another “green” way to clean your floors, which is a favorite among pet owners, is to add a 1/4 cup of white vinegar to a bucket of water. You can also add a squirt of dishwashing liquid to that solution. We do not recommend Orange Glo or Mop and Glo products. These products will initially make your floors shiny, but they leave a waxy buildup.

In addition to your bucket of water with Murphy’s or vinegar solution, fill up a second bucket with just plain water. You will use this bucket to rinse your mop head.

Before you begin mopping, either vacuum or sweep your floors, otherwise you will just smear them.  Then you are ready to mop.

Wet your mop in the bucket with the cleaning solution. Wring it out and start mopping your floor. When you notice the mop is getting dirty rinse the mop in the bucket of plain water. Redip it in the bucket with the cleaning solution and wring it out again. Change the bucket of plain water as often as necessary. Repeat. At minimum you should use a fresh bucket of water for each room. Dry floors with a towel when finished.

To schedule a cleaning or for a FREE quote, give us a call at (312) 829-9600. You can also visit Maid in Chicago’s website and fill out our online form.