Household Tips

5 Steps to A Healthier, Non-Toxic Kitchen

Posted on February 4, 2016. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning, Green Cleaning, Household Tips, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: , |

by Raina Raflo, Atlanta House Cleaning Expert

Your kitchen is probably the hub of your home, and where your food is prepared (and often consumed). For this reason, having a healthy, toxic-free kitchen matters. Having a healthy kitchen is about much more than just food, however.

Family breakfast healthy kitchen

Here are a few steps to a healthier kitchen.

1. Store your food carefully.

We should all know by now by storing your food in plastic is not a good idea.  Recent studies show that items advertised as BPA-free might not be as safe as you think. Your safest best is to use glass containers instead.

2. Ditch the coated cookware.

Your non-stick pans might contain teflon and other materials that you do not want to end up in your food.  Instead, try stainless steel or cast iron cookware. For tips on removing burned on food, click here.

3. Use safer cooking utensils.

Heated plastic leaches chemicals into your food. Try healthier alternatives such as wood, stainless steel or bamboo.

4. Use green cleaning products.

For a healthier kitchen, avoid anti-bacterial products.  Use green cleaning products to clean your kitchen and your dishes, and consider the original and extremely effective non-toxic cleaner, steam!

5. Avoid canned foods.

I know canned foods are convenient. Did you know, however, that the components used to line the cans might contain BPA? Do your research and choose wisely.

 

Atlanta Maid Service - Facebook Atlanta House Cleaning - Twitter Atlanta House Cleaning Service - Blog RSS


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

Advertisements
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Keep Your Indoor Air Clean with House Plants

Posted on March 31, 2015. Filed under: Household Tips | Tags: , |

Modern, well-insulated homes are energy efficient but they also can concentrate indoor air pollutants. Chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia can come from household furnishings and cleaners and pollute your home’s atmosphere.

closeup of a Zantedeschia aethiopica or Lily of the Nile

During the late 1980’s, NASA began studying houseplants as a way to purity the recycled air in space stations. They found that many commonly available house plants filter out certain harmful air pollutants and significantly improve indoor air quality. For those of us without green thumbs, here are the top five easiest houseplants plants to use:

  1. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

The Peace Lily is not only beautiful but also helps to reduce mold spores. In bathrooms, the Peace Lily can help to keep shower tiles and curtains free from mildew and the plant can absorb harmful vapors from alcohol and acetone. This plant does well in moderate to low light but does not like to dry out.

  1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

This easy to grow hanging plant can remove up to 90 percent of the mold and other allergens typically found in homes. It also helps to absorb small traces of formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.  Start new plants by cutting off and planting the “babies” that sprout from the parent plant.

  1. Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis)

The long striped leaves of this plant can easily thrive with only small amounts of sunlight and moderate watering. It’s an excellent way to eliminate trichloroethylene that comes from solvents and varnishes. A single plant can grow over ten feet tall, but pruning will keep it short if you prefer.

  1. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

The lovely and extremely hard-to-kill hanging plant is one of the most effective choices for eliminating carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. It does well in bright indirect light as well as low light.

  1. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’)

This easy-to-care-for plant can help filter out a variety of air pollutants and removes more toxins as time and exposure continues. Even with low light, it will produce blooms and red berries.

While these are considered to be some of the most care-free houseplants, there are many other varieties to choose from. Enhance your home’s air quality (and visual appeal too) with plants and you’ll be breathing easier!

 

Atlanta Maid Service - Facebook Atlanta House Cleaning - Twitter Atlanta House Cleaning Service - Blog RSS


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

6 Ways to Use “Orphan” Socks

Posted on February 6, 2015. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning, Household Tips, Safe Cleansers | Tags: , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

More Orphan Socks

Unmatched socks can be the bane of our existence. Before you throw them away, however, consider re-purposing them.

Here are a 6 ways to use unmatched socks:

  • To eliminate odors:  Fill the sock with your favorite potpourri and place it in your drawer to keep items smelling fresh.
  •  To dispatch dust and cobwebs:  Place the sock over a broom handle, secure with a rubber band, and use it to dust high places. You can also use socks to dust furniture.
  • To clean:  Place the sock over your hand, dampen, and use it to clean baseboards, window sills, blinds, fan blades and more.
  • As a mop head replacement for Swiffer®-type cleaners:  Just dampen your sock with cleaning solution, stretch around the mop head, and use as usual. Then wash and reuse it.
  • To protect hardwood floors: Avoid scratching the floor by placing the sock under a piece of furniture before moving it.
  • To polish:  Apply your favorite polish and shine your silver, brass and pewter.

With so many uses for unmatched socks, don’t be surprised if you start to look forward to finding them in your laundry hamper.

Atlanta Maid Service - Facebook Atlanta House Cleaning - Twitter Atlanta House Cleaning Service - Blog RSS


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

5 Questions to Identify Your Ideal Cleaning Schedule

Posted on January 23, 2015. Filed under: About Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta House Cleaning, Bathroom Cleaning Tips, Household Tips | Tags: , , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

If I had to rank customer questions, “How often should I have you clean?” would easily make the top 5.

Sponge & Sparkle - Atlanta's Award Winning Cleaning Experts

Like most professional cleaning services, we are flexible: we will provide just about any frequency desired – weekly, bi-weekly, monthly. We even have some clients who opt for every 3 weeks.

Here are a few considerations:

What is the most popular option?

Most of our clients request bi-weekly cleanings, and that is a good place to start for most people.

Here are a few reviews from our bi-weekly clients.

I Love to Come Home

My daughters says it best … I love to come home every other Wednesday! S & C do a wonderful job on our home and treat our things like they were their own. Mary (link to full review)

Friendly, Professional, Trustworthy (15-year client)

I have been a client of Sponge & Sparkle for almost 15 years. They do an outstanding job, have wonderful customer service and a very friendly and professional crew. They also are extremely trustworthy (they’ve had the key to my home since the beginning). I can highly recommend the company!  Jennifer’s full review

I Could Not be Happier

I could not be happier. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to have the same S&S person clean my home every 2 weeks. I think we’re going on nearly 2 years now. I feel I have the best of two worlds; my “own cleaning person” and the support of a small business/business owner with long term success who is professional and highly responsive to client needs. Thank you Shirley and the S&S team for keeping us clean! Judith and Charlie dog

How long can I stand it?

Ask yourself how long you can go between cleanings without  feeling  like your home is really dirty.  Some people can go monthly if they are very neat and  tidy and have no pets or kids, and  others will get very uncomfortable indeed.

How will I maintain the clean?

Once your home is cleaned by a professional service, maintenance takes a few minutes a day. Simple steps such as sweeping your kitchen,  putting dirty dishes away every day, and quickly vacuuming will extend the benefits of your newly clean home.

What is my budget?

Most cleaning services vary in price with the frequency of service performed.  Weekly or biweekly cleaning will cost less than every 3 weeks or monthly.   Pricing will also be determined by the level of service and attention to detail that you request.

What is my family’s harmony worth?

Take a look at what other family members do to contribute – are they contributing to the mess… or the cleanup?  If nagging about cleaning tasks is having a  negative impact on your marriage and family,  know that hiring a professional cleaning service contributes much  to harmony and happiness in the home!  And that could be priceless!

A good cleaning service should be able to walk you through the process and  ask the right questions to get you set up with the best  possible schedule for you.

Atlanta Maid Service - Facebook Atlanta House Cleaning - Twitter Atlanta House Cleaning Service - Blog RSS


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

5 Steps to Cleaner Home in 2015

Posted on January 15, 2015. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning, Bathroom Cleaning Tips, Cleaning Bedroom, Clearing Clutter, Green Cleaning, Household Tips, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: , , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

Half of New Years’ resolutions do not last past February 1. Did you look around your home and resolve to get it clean and clutter-free so that it “rises to meet you?”

oprah-house-greets-you

Having a clean home not only holds amazing benefits, it is vitally important to a sense of self worth. Following these 5 steps will help you to get there.

Step 1 – Make your Bed

In his commencement address to graduates of the University of Texas at Austin, Navy Seal Admiral McRaven said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

Making your bed takes, at most, 2 minutes and can really go a long way towards giving you a feeling of serenity. On the other hand, since the bed is probably the largest piece of furniture in your bedroom, having it untidy and messy is guaranteed to raise your stress level. Even if your day is hectic, at least you can look forward to a tidy, serene bedroom at the end of the day. Doesn’t the thought of it just ease the stress out of your body?

Step 2 – Watch your Hands

Do this exercise for 10 days, and I guarantee you will be on your way to a much cleaner home. Watch your hands – every single time you put something down, ask yourself if you are placing the item in its proper place. If the answer is no, make sure you put it where it belongs. After 10 – 14 days performing this new exercise, you will find your home getting cleaner, almost as if by magic.

Step 3 – Hire a Professional House Cleaner

Get a jump on your resolution – start with a clean slate. This simple step will make achieving your goal of a clean home much easier. By hiring a professional cleaning service to provide a detail clean, you will quickly gain traction on your New Year’s resolution.

One of our clients said we provide the “best deep cleaning in town.”  Another client writes: “Sponge and Sparkle are doing a great job and helping me live in a much cleaner home.”

Step 4 – Clear Clutter

Clutter attracts dust bunnies. If you find the thought of cleaning clutter intimidating, do not attempt it all at once. Instead, work on one room for 15 minutes at a time. Steady, consistent progress is infinitely better than no progress at all. Need help clearing your closet? Click here for our closet clearing tips.

Here’s a quick question to help you decide if you need to keep or toss an item:  “Is it beautiful or useful?” If the answer to is no, this item should be removed as soon as possible. Assign it to one of the following three categories: garbage, charity, or sale.

Step 5  – Learn to Clean Faster

Studies show that each of us spends, on average, 685 hours each year cleaning. That’s almost an entire month! One option for maintaining a clean home is to hire a house cleaning service for bi-weekly cleanings. If you’d rather do it yourself, learn to clean faster. By learning how to speed up the process, you will save untold hours and reduce your aggravation and frustration.

Put these 5 steps into practice, and you will find yourself in a cleaner home before you know it.

Atlanta Maid Service - Facebook Atlanta House Cleaning - Twitter Atlanta House Cleaning Service - Blog RSS


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Small Bedroom with Limited Closet Space? Here’s a Solution.

Posted on September 18, 2014. Filed under: Household Tips | Tags: , , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

Having a small bedroom with limited closet space can quickly lead to a clutter disaster. Fortunately, the Young House Love blog has a solution.

Here is how the bedroom looked before the additional closet storage.

 

The bedroom before.

 

 

This is a picture of the same bedroom after the closet storage was installed. What a difference! It all started with a visit to IKEA to purchase the closet units. Along the way, they added crown molding, lighting and new curtains. Not only did they gain much needed closet space, they also have a cozy sleep nook with his and hers reading lamps.

The blog post has a step-by-step description of their process, along with their mistakes and do-overs. If you are looking for an attractive, ingenious way to have more closet space, check out the post on the Young House Love blog.

The bedroom after the closet storage solution.

 

Atlanta Maid Service - Facebook Atlanta House Cleaning - Twitter Atlanta House Cleaning Service - Blog RSS


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

 

 

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

7 Tips for Decluttering – Fast!

Posted on September 4, 2014. Filed under: Clearing Clutter, Household Tips | Tags: , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

Picture - Clutter Chalkboard

Many people will take advantage of the weekend by decluttering their homes.

While I advise spending the weekend in activities that involve a little more fun, decluttering your space  may lead to a happier life.

In this blog post, Joshua Becker shares 7 tips to speed up the decluttering process.

Here are a few highlights:

1. Start with the low-hanging fruit.

Declutter in waves. Go from room to room, and quickly fill boxes with the items you no longer need.

2. Forget about the garage sale.

Instead of planning a garage sale, donate your items instead. Not only will you help someone else, donating is a much quicker process than planning a garage sale.   Some charities will make it easier for you by picking up your donation.

3. Get accountable.

Tell a friend about your decluttering plan, and invite them over to see your progress.

To read all 7 tips, visit Joshua Becker’s blog.

Want to really show off the progress in your clutter-free home? We recommend a detailed clean.

As our client Deb writes:

Walking into my house after Sponge & Sparkle had cleaned it was fantastic! They cleaned every nook and cranny, steamed the cabinets, got the cobwebs from our vaulted ceilings – even set my daughters doll on a pillow with a blanket. These folks care about what they do and it shows! They do a fantastic job, are reliable, honest and a pleasure to work with. My house was a mess and they fixed it! Read Deb’s review here.

Call us at (404) 633-9652 today.

 

 

Atlanta Maid Service - Facebook Atlanta House Cleaning - Twitter Atlanta House Cleaning Service - Blog RSS


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee via Creative Commons License

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

5 Easy Ideas for a More Sustainable Home

Posted on August 7, 2014. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning, Green Cleaning, Household Tips |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

Sustainability is a buzz word we’ve all heard, but what does it mean? There are many definitions of sustainability, from the simple to the complex.

 

Green Cleaning House Service

 

For the purposes of this article, let’s define sustainability as taking care of your needs while minimizing the effect it will have on future generations. In other words, we use what we need in order to exist without depleting what’s available for our grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and the generations to come.

While 100% sustainability might not be possible, we can make simple and easy choices to have a more sustainable home.  Here are 5 ways to start.

1. Reduce your energy use.

Reducing energy use can be accomplished by unplugging appliances when they aren’t in use, using energy efficient appliances, using low-energy light bulbs, plugging your home for air leaks and more. Your local utility company might conduct a free energy audit and recommend specific ways you can reduce your energy consumption.

2. Embrace Meatless Mondays.

A study of 30,000 meat eaters, 16,000 vegetarians, 8,000 fish eaters and 2,000 vegans by University of Oxford scientists found that meat lovers’ diets cause double the carbon emissions of vegetarian diets. (Source)  Switching to Meatless Mondays might do more for the environment than driving an electric car!

3. Buy Less.

Do you really need all of those gizmos and gadgets? Do you really need all of that stuff? According to the Self Storage Association, one billion square feet of storage was created between 1998 and 2005.  This proves that we not only have more than we need, we are hoarding it.

Invest your time in making memories and having experiences, rather than buying more stuff.

4. Reuse More.

Find additional uses for objects before sending them to the landfill. Buy used when you can. Donate what you no longer need to someone else who can really use it. Check out our blog post for more ways to reuse your items.

 5. Use Less Water.

Monitor your water consumption and cut back where possible. Is it really necessary to leave water running while you take a shower or brush your teeth? Do you really need to run the dishwasher for a few dishes?

You are invited to the conversation.

How do you live a more sustainable life? If you have tips for our readers, do share.

 

Atlanta Maid Service - Facebook Atlanta House Cleaning - Twitter Atlanta House Cleaning Service - Blog RSS


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

 

 

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

How to Clean a Dryer Lint Trap (Video Demonstration)

Posted on June 26, 2014. Filed under: Household Tips | Tags: , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)  estimates over 15,000 fires and 20 deaths each year are due to clothes dryers. Your dryer’s lint trap serves a critical safety purpose – to keep lint away from areas where it can spark a fire.

Simply removing lint is a good step, but it is not nearly enough. Despite your best efforts, debris will accumulate. You need to periodically clean the dryer lint trap. In this video, Raina shows you how to use items you have in your home to clean the lint trap.

 

 

 

Atlanta Maid Service - Facebook Atlanta House Cleaning - Twitter Atlanta House Cleaning Service - Blog RSS


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

How to Remove Red Wine Carpet Spills (Video)

Posted on May 23, 2014. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning, Household Tips | Tags: , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

 

 

Spilled red wine on a carpet usually means disaster – but that doesn’t have to be the case.

 

The key to handling red wine stains is swift action. In this video, I show you, step-by-step, how to clean a red wine stain from your carpet.

 

Atlanta Maid Service - Facebook Atlanta House Cleaning - Twitter Atlanta House Cleaning Service - Blog RSS


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

« Previous Entries

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...