3 Tips for a Cleaner Kitchen In Less Time

Posted on March 4, 2016. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: , |

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

exhausted cleaning kitchen

 

According to the 2014 American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we spend an average of 353 hours each year cleaning.  The kitchen is usually where we spend the most cleaning time.

Here are 3 quick tips to reduce the time you spend cleaning your kitchen.

  1. Spray your food storage containers with non-stick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces. This will keep your containers stain-free – no more scrubbing!
  2. Throw your kitchen sponges in the dishwasher cutlery tray. They will stay in place there and come out bacteria free.
  3. Purchase inexpensive oven liners (I get mine at Kroger) so that you never need to use toxic oven cleaners.

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 )

Too Funky in Here? How to Get Rid of Home Odors – Naturally

Posted on August 13, 2015. Filed under: Bathroom Cleaning Tips, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: , , , , |

skunk sells perfumes

Did you know that the air inside your home can be much more polluted than the air outside, even if you change your air filters  And chemical air fresheners only mask odors but do not eliminate them, and might be bad for your health.

Several natural odor-eaters, such as white vinegar, baking soda, and coffee, will do the trick.  These everyday products don’t just hide bad smells, they actually neutralize them. Not only are they inexpensive and environmentally friendly, but they really do work.

If your house is persistently funky-smelling, first consider getting a thorough cleaning by a professional company. Make sure they use green and non-toxic cleaners rather than harsh chemicals such as bleach and ammonia.

After, that, here are a few tips for maintaining an odor-free home:

  • Routinely clean the garbage can with white vinegar and water. Then place about a tablespoon of coffee, a few cloves, and a tablespoon of baking soda in the center of a coffee filter or a piece of cheese cloth. Close with a twist tie to make a sachet, and put it at the bottom of the can to eliminate unpleasant odors.
  • Keep the garbage disposal clean. Insert the sink stopper, fill with a few inches of hot water, add about 2 tablespoons of baking soda, turn on the disposal and immediately pull out the stopper.
  • Keep the bathrooms fresh. Make your own non-toxic air freshener. Combine 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and about 10 drops of essential oil (your favorite scent) and put in a spray bottle to keep handy in the bathroom.

There’s no need to spend money on air fresheners or perfumed cleaning products when you can keep your home fresh and clean using inexpensive, natural, non-toxic products. Vinegar and baking soda will defeat the funkiest odors. Try them—you’ll be glad!

What our Customers Say

Friendly and Efficient

I always love to come home after they’ve been here cleaning. They use natural products that smell good and get the job done.

Very thorough

Camille did a great job cleaning our house in Decatur last week! Everything looked and smelled terrific!

Love the Service

My friend told me about her neighbor’s business and I jumped at the chance to find someone to clean my house. So every other week, two very nice, polite ladies come and keep my house in shape. My floors are clean, things get dusted and my sink and bathtub do’sparkle’. I feel safe leaving the house while they are there and feel like the cats will still be inside when I get back. The thing I like most is the clean smell that lingers after they leave and that they use organic products. But they will use my products if I ask. I would recommend a detail cleaning first, even if your house is cleaner than mine. I only have them come every other week but hope to have them weekly in the future. I am getting used to a clean house. I don’t have to worry about paying taxes or anything except paying a set fee. That’s great as well.

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 )

Steps to a Healthier Kitchen

Posted on May 8, 2014. Filed under: Green Cleaning, Household Tips, Kitchen Cleaning, Safe Cleansers | Tags: , , |

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.

 

 

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

Spring Cleaning 2014 | Your Room-by-Room Checklists

Posted on April 3, 2014. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning, Bathroom Cleaning Tips, Cleaning Bedroom, Clearing Clutter, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: , , , , |

Well, it’s that time of the year again – Spring!  Do you feel the need to throw open the windows and let the fresh air in? Would you like for your home to be as fresh and clean as Spring feels?

Spring Cleaning Ahead? We Can Help

Of course, the easiest way to get your home sparkling clean is to hire a professional cleaning service like Sponge & Sparkle to do the heavy lifting. That way you experience all of the benefit and none of the work.

Here’s what our customers Gregory and Deb say:

Best Deep Cleaning In (Atlanta)

Raina and her crew do a fantastic job. I just knew when I spoke to her that I was working with a pro and they delivered in a big way. My house is not just clean. It sparkles! I would recommend these folks to anyone who seriously wants their house clean. They are the best from start to finish.
Cleaned Every Nook & Cranny
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!

If you’d rather tackle spring cleaning yourself, we’ve rounded up our checklists to take you step-by-step through each room of your home.

Before You Begin

The History of Spring Cleaning

Essential Tips for Organizing your Spring Cleaning

Pre-clean Before You Tackle Spring Cleaning

Room-by-Room Spring Cleaning Checklists

Your Kitchen Spring Cleaning Checklist

Your Bathroom Spring Cleaning Checklist

Your Bedroom Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring Cleaning Checklist – Furniture, Floors and Dusting

Spring Cleaning Like the Professionals

The Spring Cleaning Checklist We Use for our Clients

How to Spring Clean Like the Professionals

 

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 Tips for Removing Burned On Food

Posted on February 6, 2014. Filed under: Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: , |

Cleaning the kitchen after a meal has got to be the least favorite chore. This is especially true if you have to do with burned on foods in your pots and pans.  These tips will help you get your cookware clean in no time.

how to clean burned on food atlanta house cleaning blog

Remember – you should not scrub pans that have a non-stick coating.

  1. Burned milk not only ruins your pots, but the terrible smell will stink up your home.

    You will want to clean that pot immediately by covering the bottom of the pot with salt, and covering with warm water for 15 minutes before cleaning it right of with a sponge.  As for the smell, open a couple of windows and use the fan.

  2. Cleaning burns from a cast iron skillet is easier than it looks.

    Cast iron should be rinsed with hot water right after cooking before the food items dry onto the pan.  For stubborn residue, use a little bit of salt and a paper towel to scrub at the stains, and rinse with hot water.

  3. Scorched food on a pot can be cooked away in most cases.

    Put a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar in the pot and cook it for about 10 minutes.  You will notice the burned of food loosening from your pots.  A good scrubbing with a bristle dish brush will help you get all of the remaining grime.

  4. A long soak is probably unnecessary.

    Baked in and greasy foods in your lasagna spare-rib roasting pans don’t need to be soaked for a week to get it clean.  Just fill your pan with water to cover the burnt on spots and place a used dryer sheet in the water. In 30 minutes, your pan will come clean with very little effort. Give it an extra once over with dish soap and hot water to remove dryer sheet residue.

  5. Prevent food from burning in the first place.

    Never walk away from cooking food. Find a project to do in the kitchen if you are waiting for your water to boil or your sauces to simmer. Turn off the pot before your rice, pasta, or eggs are done cooking. The heat from the pan will finish them off nicely. Turn down the heat on sauces, allowing them to cook slowly.  Try lining some of your baking dishes with aluminum foil. Also, consider investing in quality pots and pans.

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: Available via a creative commons license on flickr.

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

How to Clear Kitchen Clutter

Posted on January 23, 2014. Filed under: Household Tips, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: , , |

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

The kitchen is best known as the gathering place of the home.  With all of that gathering going on, clutter is sure to happen. You can clear kitchen clutter by following these helpful tips.

Kitchen Cleaning Tip - Cleaning Clutter

Dress up your dining table.

The prettier your dining room table looks, the less likely it is to become a catch all for junk. It doesn’t cost much to create an attractive table setting. Just pick up some place mats on sale, and find creative ways to make napkin holders for a start. Then mix and match plate designs to keep it interesting. You may want to take it to the next level by changing around the table settings twice a year.

Keep counters clear.

You do not have to keep every single kitchen appliance on top of the counter. Instead, you can put the ones you use often on the counter and keep others within reach.  Use one cabinet strictly for small appliances so that you build the habit of putting them away in the same place after each use.

Keep a basket as a catchall.

When the basket is full, go through it, putting items away and throwing away things you don’t need.

Keep trash cans easily accessible.

Don’t let garbage accumulate in your kitchen when you can just as easily throw it away. The same goes for your recycling.  Keep a recycling bin just outside your kitchen door so you can toss out those bottles and cans before they accumulate.

Schedule cleaning.

At least twice a year, take everything out of your cabinets and wipe the cabinets down. Use this as an opportunity to wash all of your pots and pans and throw away or donate items that you no longer need.  This will also help you find storage containers and misplaced lids, and will keep you from purchasing items that you already own.

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: Available via a creative commons license on flickr.

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

Kitchen Cleaning Tips for Stress Free Holiday Entertaining

Posted on December 15, 2011. Filed under: Household Tips | Tags: |

Atlanta Cleaning Service - Kitchen Cleaning TipsOnce you have had your home cleaned by an expert Atlanta maid service to prepare for holiday guests, the last thing you want to do is spend all of your time maintaining the sparkle.

One of the most troublesome areas is the kitchen. You need to use the kitchen to prepare the holiday feast, but you want it to be clean and orderly when your guests arrive.

Here are six quick kitchen cleaning tips to help you quickly clean up so that you can spend more time with your guests.

Tip # 1 – Keep your counters pristine

Cover the counter with butcher or wax paper before making a mess; and just fold up the paper with the scraps and toss it away when you’re done.

Tip # 2 – Prep your dirty dishes on the go

Fill your sink with hot soapy water – as you work, toss in the tools and dishes you’ve used and let them soak. When it is time to load the dishwasher, a quick drain and rinse is usually all that is needed.

Tip # 3 – Keep scraps out of the way

Keep a bowl beside your cutting board. (If you compost, use two bowls – one for compostable, and another for non-compostable scraps). Toss scraps into your bowl(s) as you work. When you are done, empty your scrap bowl(s).

Tip # 4 – Clean in stages

Once you are done with the food prep stage, put your dishes into soapy water. Put away any items you don’t need for the cooking stage. Do a similar deck clearing at each stage to make working easier and buildup lighter.

Tip # 5 – Stave off stickiness

Line your baking and roasting pans with foil or parchment paper to save scrubbing later. Coat measuring utensils with non-stick spray so sticky ingredients like honey and peanut butter will slide right out and clean up easily.

Tip # 6 – Use your downtime wisely

While the water is boiling, the oven heating, or onions are softening in the pan, handle those small-dose kitchen cleaning tasks like loading or emptying the dishwasher, wiping spills, or sweeping.

Remember, as host or hostess of holiday gatherings, you don’t want to be locked in the kitchen. Use these tips to get your kitchen clean quickly so that you can socialize.

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 ( 3 so far )

Keeping your Kitchen Clean!

Posted on February 6, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Keep your kitchen cabinets cleaner by keeping lids on pots and pans whenever possible, and running the exhaust fan.

It is not just the grease that makes a mess of your kitchen cabinets, it is also the wet steam that rises from cooking. The steam settles into the dust and dirt and makes it sticky.

Have a question or a vexing problem? Let us help! Submit a question and get expert cleaning advice in the next post.


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 Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

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