As the weather warms up, we all want to spend more time outside. But, after a long winter, when you step outside you probably see a lot to add to your honey-do list. Getting your yard ready for barbecue season doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few key things you need to keep in mind.
First and foremost, it’s time to make a plan for your landscaping. If you haven’t done much all winter, you’ll probably need to trim some trees and bushes, weed the flower beds, and do a low cut to start the season. This is also a great time to add mulch to flower beds and plant some bright spring flowers.
Maintaining a yard and lawn equipment can be expensive. Did you know that if you find the right landscaper, it can be just as cost efficient to hire out the job instead of doing it yourself? Plus, it saves you a day every weekend during the growing season.
Porch or Deck
The beginning of spring is a great time to power-wash your deck or porch. If you don’t have the equipment, we have trained professionals who can come help you out with this chore. Call us today to schedule a visit.
Power-washing is similar to sanding, so it can help prepare your wooden deck for a fresh coat of paint. It’s important to paint your deck as soon as you see signs of wear and tear. It helps to protect it from the elements and keep the wood from rotting.
You can make a big spring impact by changing out a few decorative items. For example, spruce up your lawn furniture with new cushions, change the wreath on your door, or hang some yard decor. Bright colors that can be seen from the road add to the curb appeal and make your home look welcoming to those passing by.
If you haven’t already, it is time to prepare your home for winter. The cold weather and precipitation can do some real damage if your home isn’t properly prepped. We’ve checked some of the leading blogs and saved you time by gathering the top tips for winterizing your home.
While almost all the lists include the traditional winterizing elements like changing your filters, reversing your ceiling fans, and caulking, several lists have some extra ideas to help protect your home (and wallet) against the harsh elements.
Heater and Fireplace
First, there are several ways for you to save money this winter. Popular Mechanics has an entire blog dedicated to the energy efficient benefits of winterizing your home. Changing your filter can help your heater run more efficiently, but it may be easiest to call in a professional to give your heater a quick tune-up. That way, you know everything is in proper working order and safe for your home and family to use.
Also, while your fireplace may be a great option for warmth and a gathering place during the holidays, it is one of the biggest wastes of heated air when it is not in use. Make sure to use a chimney balloon or screen when your fireplace is not in use to avoid the draft.
Next, like Bob Vila, we take our gutters seriously. The first tip on this list is to make sure your gutters are completely cleaned out and everything is flowing properly. If not, ice and snow can do some real damage. Let the professionals take over this task. Call us today to schedule your winter gutter cleaning before the weather gets too bad.
In addition, one step to winterizing that is often overlooked is making sure you have resources for emergencies. Having a generator on hand can be very helpful if the power is knocked out by a winter storm. You can find reasons for owning a generator on Lowe’s list for winter preparedness. Home Advisor also adds the need for stocking up on canned goods and water, plus having a snow shovel around to dig your way out in an emergency.
Finally, one of the most frequent issues when it comes to cold weather is problems with pipes. Lowe’s has an excellent plan for preventing and repairing frozen pipes. Interestingly enough, pipes in southern climates are more susceptible to damage because those owners don’t typically take the steps necessary to protect them from freezing.
Don’t be left out in the cold. Use these tips to prepare your home for the long winter ahead. Call us today and we will help you prep those gutters and maybe even throw in some window washing while we’re out there!
Enjoy the nice summer weather, and be productive at the same time. You don’t have to be cooped up inside to get cleaning accomplished. Here are some easy tips and tricks for DIY car detailing that you can put to use while spending time in the great outdoors.
Inside the Vehicle
There are a few key components to detailing the inside of a vehicle. First, you want to clean the upholstery. Second, you want to get into all the nooks and crannies (a cotton swab is good for reaching into all the tiny crevices). Lastly, you want to make sure to condition and protect the dashboard and other interior areas from fading. This Popular Mechanics article gives and in depth look at detailing the inside of a vehicle.
Washing the Vehicle
Unlike cleaning a home where you clean from the top down, on a vehicle, you want to start with the wheels. After you have completed the wheels, you can head to the roof and windows. Then, the hood, trunk, doors, and down. Professionals prefer to use a mitt when washing a vehicle and have several processes to avoid scratching the paint. You can read about these tips in this Practical Hacks article that outlines the entire detailing process.
Clean without Chemicals
Here at The Cleaning Crew, LLC, we prefer to be as chemical free as possible. That’s why we love DIY cleaning recipes that help maintain our “green” clean. Robin at Fluster Buster blog complied a list of awesome alternative cleaning solutions that you can use to clean your vehicle. This list includes: Homemade Car Soap, Spot Free Rinse, No Streak Glass Cleaner, and Upholstery Cleaner
Stop the Scratching
Avoiding scratching the exterior paint of the vehicle is one of the major parts of hand washing a car. Technically, it’s called micro-marring. That’s the small scratches that can be seen when light hits the finish of a vehicle. They come from small bits of grit or dirt that get rubbed against the finish as it is being washed.
Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t just use any old towel or rag to wash.
Do Use microfiber cloths.
Don’t use the same rag or towel for the entire process.
Do label them for each part of the car to reduce scratching.
Don’t use automated car washes with strips that touch your car.
Do use spray car washes if you must go through one.
Don’t dunk your cleaning mitt into dirty water.
Do use a double rinse or grate in the bottom of your bucket to get the dirt and grime off the mitt.
You could even opt for using an air blower for car drying which could save you time cleaning your car, this is a great tool when wanting to cheat the drying process!
With the help of these tips, detailing your car should be a breeze. Now, get out there to enjoy the fresh air and a freshly cleaned vehicle.
Do you have any car detailing tips? Let us know in the comments!
The time change doesn’t just mean that you lost an hour of sleep. It also signifies something else very important: Spring is almost upon us. It’s time for that annual spring cleaning–inside and out. Check out our website for our top three most popular services for readying your home for spring.
What you can expect from our service:
- Window cleaning by a professional window cleaner
- Provision of all supplies and equipment needed to do the job
- Detailed cleaning of all window, tracks, and screen surfaces
Do you need your windows professionally cleaned? We clean windows inside and outside, leaving them sparkling clean! Our window cleaning service also includes hand wiping out the tracks and cleaning the screens.
The Cleaning Crew, LLC knows how to handle your glass surfaces with great care and can tailor your window-cleaning needs to fit each situation.
We provide a complimentary evaluation of your home to determine:
- Your window cleaning needs
- Date, time and cost of the cleaning
- We offer one-time, bi-yearly or yearly window cleaning. We also offer monthly or quarterly price packages
If this service is what you need, please contact us today for a free estimate! We can either provide the bid information over the phone or schedule an onsite bid.
What you can expect from our service:
- Gutter cleaning by a professional gutter cleaning specialist
- We supply the equipment needed to complete the job
- Quality cleaning of all gutters and downspouts
Are your gutters and down spouts filled with leaves and debris? Would you like a friendly and experienced cleaning specialist to take care of your gutter needs? If so, call The Cleaning Crew, LLC today!
We are happy to provide a complimentary evaluation of your home to determine:
- Your gutter cleaning needs
- Date, time, and cost of the gutter cleaning
If this service is what you need, please contact us today for an free estimate! We can either provide the bid information over the phone or schedule an onsite bid.
What you can expect from our service:
- Completed by a professional power washing specialist
- We supply the equipment needed to complete the job
- Detailed cleaning of your exterior surfaces
Are the exterior surfaces of your home dirty? Are there cobwebs under your eves? Do your porches, decks and sidewalks need a cleaning to remove the yearly buildup of sediment and moss? We power wash your exterior surfaces with great care and are mindful of your plant beds and flowers.
In addition to power washing the exterior surfaces of your home and office, we also power wash commercial buildings and storefront walkways.
We provide a complimentary evaluation of your home or office to determine:
- Your power washing needs
- Date, time and cost of the cleaning
- We can tailor your power washing needs to fit each situation
When you contact us for a free estimate, we can either provide the bid information over the phone or schedule an onsite bid.
Enjoy your time outside this spring, and let us take care of the hard work. We’d love to come over for a no-obligation, free estimate. To schedule a visit, call us at 541-601-6236.
We’re all familiar with that sinking feeling. You know the one, where all the good vibes from throwing that epic summer party begin to disintegrate into the realization that you’re going to have to start cleaning up.
Been there, right?
That moment is the very definition of “dread,” unless, of course you’re in the minority that absolutely loves cleaning. To you we say, “Rock on, you lovers of cleaning, Rock on!”
To the rest who have a distaste for cleaning ranging somewhere on the scale from slight frustration (“I really, really don’t like cleaning up other people’s messes”) to white-hot boiling rage (“I think I may just hurt someone here!”), we understand, and we love each and everyone one of you – and don’t want you to go to jail after throwing that epic summer party.
That would suck.
So, here at The Cleaning Crew, we’ve got your back! Follow these Summer Party Clean Up Tips to take that not so awesome task of party clean up and make it feel just a little more like a party and a lot less like a wake.
1. Start Your Party with a Clean Slate
This may seem like a no brainer, but for good summer party clean up mojo, this is the best place to start. You really will have a better experience if your house (and kitchen in particular) is in good shape before-hand. Empty the dishwasher, empty the trash, clean up all the pre-party prep, and make room in your fridge for leftovers.
Piling dirty dishes on top of dirty dishes is a recipe for a whole string of sad faced emojis!
2. Take Your Party Outside
If possible plan most of your activities outside. Garden parties and backyard BBQ’s can be pretty magical, and outdoor surfaces like grass and concrete clean up much easier than carpet or wood floors! Just use the indoors for bathroom visits.
If you have a really large gathering, consider renting a porta-potty (a one day rental is under $200). Better a great big whopping mess in something that gets hauled away than one in your own bathroom!
Pick Up While You Party
Where possible, try to stay on top of the cleaning as the event progresses. Make sure you enjoy your own party, for goodness’ sake!
But the key to cleaning up any party and any spill is being prepared and acting quickly. Keep an active eye (and hopefully you have some help with this) for taking care of anything urgent right away. We recommend having good general purpose DIY cleaner on hand:
- 1-Tbsp white vinegar
- 1-Tbsp dish soap
- Fill the rest of your standard 32 oz spray bottle with water (filtered is preferred)
“Hey, you guys! The bathroom’s over there…the trash cans are right here…and the drinks, well, you already know where the drinks are!”
Removing Water Rings
Annoying water rings in your wooden coffee and end tables? Next year, try to have enough coasters for everyone. If you’re feeling crafty, try these supercool DIY coasters. Clever, right? But for now, here are a few solutions for removing white water rings.
- Create a gentle abrasive by mixing a teaspoon of salt with a few drops of olive oil. Rub it gently into the ring until the spot is gone. Massage some furniture polish into the surface to finish….. or
- Try rubbing a bit of non-gel toothpaste onto a water ring, then buff with a clean cloth. Or substitute full-fat Mayonnaise for the toothpaste; leave it on for at least an hour before wiping clean and buffing.
Lip Color Smudges
“Dahling, you look mahvelous!” But your lipstick can leave an ugly mark on cloth napkins. Start by scraping them clean, then apply a few drops of mineral spirits, working them in with a brush. Rinse with rubbing alcohol and repeat until you’re in the clear.
Launder with an enzyme detergent to dissolve leftover residue.
Candles can definitely set the mood, but ruin it just as fast.
If candles drip on your lovely wood furniture, warm the spilled wax with a hairdryer, and wipe it away with a cloth. Any remaining residue can be cleared off with a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water.
Candle wax on carpets? Use this simple and easy trick for saving your carpets:
Cleaning Up Broken Glass
To clean up broken glass without initiating a trip to the ER, arm yourself with rubber gloves. Pick up the biggest pieces of glass first, and, oh, don’t forget to check under the furniture.
We recommend using something like a handheld vacuum to clear the rest of the area as glass can stick to brooms cause problems for bare feet later. Finish by pressing a slice of bread against the ground to pick up the smallest fragments. Dryer lint can also be used to round up small fragments in hard to reach areas.
Cleaning and Removing Coffee Stains
Don’t despair at the sight of those dark roast stains. Even dried stains can generally be lifted. Follow these Good Housekeeping guidelines:
1. Sponge the stain with cool water or soak the item for about 30 minutes in cool water.
2. Pretreat with a prewash stain remover.
3. Launder. If it’s safe for the fabric, add chlorine bleach to the wash.
1. Mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent with two cups of cool water.
2. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with the detergent solution.
3. Blot until the liquid is absorbed.
4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until the stain disappears.
5. Sponge with cold water and blot dry.
1. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent.
2. Blot until the solvent is absorbed.
3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until the stain disappears.
1. Blot up as much of the spilled coffee as possible.
2. Use plain water or mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water.
3. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with plain water or the detergent/ vinegar solution. Apply a little bit at a time, blotting frequently with a dry cloth until the stain disappears.
4. If using a detergent/vinegar solution, sponge with cold water and blot dry to remove the solution.
Coffee and Cream
If there’s cream (or milk) in the coffee that caused the stain, be sure to use an enzyme laundry detergent when washing the stained item.
As adults we all know why schools don’t allow gum in class. It’s notoriously difficult to get out of things like carpet and upholstery, some of the most cherished and expensive stuff in our homes. Here’s how to de-gum like a pro:
Cleaning Stainless Steel
Remove baked-on food from appliances with Barkeepers Friend Liquid or Biokleen. Always wipe stainless steel dry in the direction of the grain. If cleanup leaves your stainless steel streaked, rub a little olive oil over it and buff with a soft cloth. Read our deep cleaning spring blog for tips on how to clean your refrigerator.
When the dishes are done, the floor is swept, and the house is quiet, it’s time to put your feet up and give yourself a pat on the back in the form of a huge slice of cake or one of these signature summer cocktails.
In fact, might as well make it a double!
So, here’s to Summer Parties! Keep the good summer vibes by being prepared for the after party!
Karen & The Cleaning Crew
PS What after party clean up tips have worked for you? Leave a comment below & share the love.
PPS Over your head with house cleaning? We can help with either our One Time Cleaning or Maintenance Cleaning. Call the office for a simple, no-hassle phone quote.
Washing the porch and patio
After a Southern Oregon winter, your porch and patio could use a quick clearing of debris, by attaching a sprayer to your garden hose. Be sure to rinse the buildup of foliage in the hard to reach corners when cleaning. For a deeper clean, have the porch, eaves, walkways, and side of the house power washed.
- Door frame – With a damp cloth wipe clean around the door frame and handle.
- Window tracks – Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the grit and dirt that collects in the window tracks and wipe with a damp cloth.
- Screens – If you have a screened in porch, vacuum the screens to remove dirt and allergens. Fill a bucket with soapy water and wipe down the screens using a rag.
- Glass – Spray glass cleaner on both sides, then using a microfiber cloth or rag, polish to a streak free shine!
- All outdoor light fixtures can be cleaned using a soapy rag.
- Umbrellas – Use a gentle cleanser like Biokleen to avoid wearing away the exterior coating. Mix Biokleen with warm water and use a scrub brush to remove dirt and mildew. For tough stains, repeat the process with a mixture of bleach and warm water, (always do a patch test on an unseen swatch of fabric first to ensure the color won’t be affected).
- Awnings – Biokleen and warm water is perfect for awnings. Rinse, extend it and scrub in the mixture. Rinse again and allow the awning to air dry. As awnings tend to collect dust and wind blown debris, repeat this process several times throughout the season and always before storing. To prevent mildew, extend awnings and allow them to dry completely after each rain.
- Upholstery – For removable pillow cases and cushion covers, wash them in cold water and allow them to air dry. For pieces that require hand washing, use a mild soap and water mixture, rinse, and air dry. To combat stubborn mildew stains, dilute two tablespoons of bleach in a gallon of water and scrub in with a soft brush.
1. Using a wire brush to clean the grate, brush out the ashes and cooked on foods.
2. Scrape the bottom of the grill to remove the caked on debris.
3. Fill a bucket with warm soapy water and give it a good scrub down.
Now it’s time to relax and unwind in your freshly clean outdoor space!
~ The Cleaning Crew