Cleaning Today Keeps the Doctor Away


In addition to the hundreds of natural remedies to prevent, heal, and help recover from illness, it is important that we remember the role that cleaning can play in the preventative process.

Keeping your home clean and sanitized can help stop the spreading of germs and bacteria that can wreak havoc during this time of year. We all learn that covering our mouths when we cough or sneeze and washing our hands frequently is important to help stop the spreading of germs, but there are other ways you can help keep sickness at bay.

A tissue box may become a staple in your home during cold and flu season, but germs don’t have to be. According to this germy info-graphic, buttons and handles are some of the most germ infested places. Stopping the spread of germs can be as simple as making time to regularly wipe down and disinfect areas like the sink knobs, soap dispensers, microwave buttons, or refrigerator handles. It is good practice to disinfect common areas like these as often as possible, especially if someone in your home has been showing signs of illness.

Laundry seems like an obvious necessity, especially if bodily fluids have been involved in the illness. However, doing your best to launder things like stuffed animals, couch upholstery, or the mattress can sometimes be forgotten. Use your choice of disinfectant spray to wipe down furniture and mattresses and let them air dry before allowing others to use that space. Germs can hide in the fibers and spread easily.

We recommend this recipe for an all-natural antibacterial spray from One Good Thing:

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup White Vinegar
  • 5 Drops Each of Wild Orange, Melaleuca, and Lavender essential oils

Jenn at Clean and Scentsible compiled a list of 10 Things to Clean After the Flu. Our favorite tip is #3. If at all possible, confining the sickness to one bathroom will make clean up much easier afterward. We also recommend her method for cleaning your toothbrush if you can’t just throw yours away. Simply soak it in hydrogen peroxide to kill any bacteria still lingering.

Being sick is miserable, but the misery doesn’t have to have company. Don’t allow sickness to spread in your home. Practice good hygiene and routinely disinfect to make sure it is a safe place for you and you loved ones this cold and flu season.

Is Your Porch a Trick or a Treat?


Decorating a home for Halloween is a difficult task. Some take it overboard with incredibly scary decorations and haunted-house-like thrills while others opt to skip the holiday and just freshen up the porch with some generic decor for the fall season. Here are a few tips you can use to tastefully decorate your home for Halloween with both tricks and treats!

Pumpkins

You can skip the traditional jack-o-lanterns, but still spruce up your fall pumpkins a bit. Covering the pumpkins with masks or painting them with a striped or checkered pattern is a stylish alternative to carving. Another way to give a vintage look to your porch is to set out a pumpkin covered with lace or feathers. Scoop Charlotte has some great examples of no-carve pumpkins.

Black and White

Nothing is more classy than black and white. It also happens to make for some really dramatic decorations. Whether you are making a wreath or hanging temporary decor, sticking to a black and white color scheme makes for very a elegant and sophisticated look. It might be black and white painted pumpkins on the porch or a striped cushion on your rocking chair. However you use this color palet–or lack thereof–it can have a major impact.

Graphic Words

Words are everywhere right now. From t-shirts to water bottles, graphics and words are in style. Use this to your advantage. Something as simple as this “boo” picture frame from Jenny Collier is a super cute way to decorate for the occasion. Eeeek…Just think of all the crazy sounds we hear at the holiday and have some fun decorating with them!

If you enjoy decorating for special occasions, but aren’t sure how to keep Halloween decor classy, these are some easy solutions. As with most things, less is more and vintage is best. Follow our advice and you’re sure to have the sweetest house on the block!

 

 

The Green Clean Commitment


At The Cleaning Crew, LLC., we are committed to cleaning your home in a way that is safe for your family the environment. On our website, you can find this commitment in writing.

This means we use products which are non-toxic and eco-friendly as often as possible and when requested by our customers.   We also recycle and reuse as many supplies as possible, such as our cleaning towels (they are cleaned and sanitized after each use); and we recycle and reuse our spray bottles and cleaning containers as often as we can.

We also support and purchase supplies from other locally owned businesses whom are working to create awareness about green practices, for our use out in the field and in our office.

We want our clients to feel not only clean, but safe. So, we do our best to use environmentally friendly cleaning products and equipment. We are sure to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in “green” cleaning, and we’d like to share them with you so that you can practice these for yourself.

Cleaning Products

A simple way to put some green in your clean is to use environmentally friendly products. Natural liquids like vinegar and lemon juice can do some major cleaning. Combine either (or both) with warm water to create your very own all purpose cleaner.

Baking soda is another natural cleaner that you can use to strengthen your cleaner and to eliminate odors. If you have an electric stove top, you’ve battled with baked on messes. Let some baking soda sit on the stuck on spots for a few minutes and then the scrubbing can be a lot easier. It absorbs odors as well. Stick an open box in your fridge, near your trashcan, or other stinky areas to help eliminate those unwanted odors.

Reduce and Reuse

Take our lead and reuse your cleaning equipment. If you wash and sanitize between uses, reusing cloths and bottles instead of one-and-done products can significantly reduce the amount of trash that you are making.

Invite Us to Help

The easiest way to make sure you are cleaning in a safe and effective way, is to hire us to do it for you. We will honor our commitment to a green clean, and save you time in the process. Call us today for a free quote today at 541-601-6236.

Quit the Clutter


I’m sure you’ve seen the quote, “Collect moments, not things.”

In a 2012 study conducted by UCLA, findings concluded that more than half of mothers are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in their house–so much so that they find it too difficult to even deal with. In a DecluttrMe article, they explore this study and the term “stuffocation.”

Are you suffocated by the amount of stuff in your home? If so, it may be time to de-clutter.

Many people don’t know that here at The Cleaning Crew, LLC., we offer organization services. Our professional organizers can help you evaluate your belongings and the storage options in your home or office. We can offer advice on maximizing your space with the most appropriate storage solutions and help you organize your belongings in a manner that supports the easy flow of your lifestyle. We can also help with the process of removing excess belongings if necessary.

You can call us today at 541-601-6236 to schedule a free estimate. While you’re waiting for our organizers to arrive, here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.

Getting Started

Sometimes, you just have to start purging. Many of the items in your house are there “just in case” or simply because you are too busy to clean them out. Set aside a day or a weekend that you can knock things out and feel accomplished. You can get started with this awesome list from Organise My House that has 101 things you can throw away right now without feeling guilty.

Once you have started, it will get much easier. As you are de-cluttering, it helps to divide your items into piles. This 4-Pile Strategy  is specific to clearing out a closet, but will work for just about anything.

Make four piles:

  1. Keep
  2. Unsure
  3. Donate
  4. Trash

If you aren’t sure how to determine which pile to put items in, PopSugar has a great list of 8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter. If you were shopping right now, would you buy this? Do you have something else that serves the same purpose? Have you used this in the last year?

Following Through

Once you have completed your piles, follow through with donating or trashing the items in piles three and four and reorganizing the items in pile one. The items you placed in pile two should be boxed up and looked at again in about a month. Anything you haven’t used or don’t feel tied to should be donated or trashed. They also suggest that if you are keeping something simply because of sentimental value, take a photo! Then, you can keep it forever without taking up too much space.

If the items in your home seem to be taking over and you aren’t sure where to begin, let our professional organization team help out. Don’t waste any more time stressing…Call us now at 541-601-6236.

The Aftermath: Restoration After a Flood


As we all know, Texas is in the middle of a natural disaster of historic proportions. After the storms calm and the flood waters recede, there will be a lot of restoration ahead for the residents of Southeast Texas. The aftermath of a flood is a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. It is important to begin clean up as soon as possible.

FEMA has a detailed page with instructions on how to begin clean up after a flood. Not all of us will face a natural disaster, but it is highly likely that sometime during our lives we will encounter water damage. The most important step in recovering things after they have been damaged by water is moving quickly. The longer the water sits, the more damage it can do. That’s why getting in someone like Water Damage Restoration of Austin to handle the aftermath as soon as possible could make all the difference when it comes to addressing the situation before it worsens.

First, it is important to document the damage for insurance purposes. Take plenty of pictures from all angles before and after clean up.

Then, it is necessary to be prepared. If the water can possibly be contaminated, make sure to wear protective gear. Turn off all electricity to the house to avoid electrical shock. Open doors and windows to help begin drying out and for ventilation, and make sure to check for dangerous damage such as cracks in the flooring or foundation. If there are cracks to the flooring and foundation, you may want to call out a professional from Water Damage Mentor to come and inspect the water damage.

After you have prepared, the first step is to remove the water. This can be done with a wet vac or manually by sweeping the water out of the home. According to FEMA, “Basements should be pumped out slowly, about one-third of the water each day. Water soaked grounds can cause a collapse of basement walls.” After you have removed the water, it is vital to remove mud or dirt before it dries. Then, cut out all sheet rock four inches above the highest water marks.

Once the water has been cleaned up, remove all effected items and either destroy them or dry and sanitize them. You can refer to FEMA’s instructions for more specific instructions on what is safe to keep and what should be dumped. Those with porous surfaces such as wood, sheet rock, and upholstered items cannot be properly sanitized and should be disposed of properly. Once the clean up is complete, you can start making repairs to your home. If you have wood in your roof, it could be subject to rot if it has gotten wet. You may wish to contact an austin roofing company to come and assess the damage. The case is similar with window and door frames; if they are made from wood, then make sure you have your property fully inspected for water damage.

Our hope is that you never have to face a flood or water damage of any type, but if you do we hope you feel more prepared to quickly and effectively begin clean up to salvage as much of your personal property as possible.

Clean Like a Pro: The Secrets Revealed


If you’ve had us into your home, you know that a professional cleaner’s work can seem like magic. That would be fun, but it’s not very accurate. The pristine and time-efficient clean is a result of proper training and practice. Here are a few tricks of the trade to let you in on our cleaning secrets…We’ve even thrown in a few Speed Hacks from Organized Home!

Organization Is Everything

You’ve got to prepare the area that needs to be cleaned. De-clutter first by picking up and putting away anything that has been left out. This will save you a lot of time instead of picking up things as you go. This is a trick that hotel maids use. They start the cleaning off by emptying the trash and taking all dirty towels and linens into the hallway.  (Speed Hack: Professional Cleaners make every movement count. They stand in place and tackle everything in one spot before they move on to another area.)

Next, you’ve got to set aside a block of time. If you commit an afternoon to cleaning, you will get more accomplished than if you try to clean a little bit here and there. Plus, according to Rebecca at Charming Imperfections, “it is easier to keep kids, pets, and husbands out of the way.”

Make sure you have all of your supplies. Microfiber cleaning cloths, cleaning solutions, gloves, etc. Whatever you need, put it in a portable caddy that you can carry from room to room with you as you go. (Speed Hack: Simplify! You only need 4 products. Click here to check out the list.)

Lastly, you need to have a plan. Simple tricks like dusting and vacuuming before getting anything wet makes cleaning so much easier. Wet particles are not as easy to pick up as dry ones. Professional cleaners are also trained to clean from the top to the bottom of a room. That way things like dust from the ceiling fan will either be caught in your duster or fall to the floor which is cleaned last. Plus, it helps to eliminate germs. What would you rather clean first, the toilet seat or the toilet handle? (Pro Tip: Close the toilet seat on top of the toilet handle and let the brush drip-dry before placing it back into the holder.)

 

Get Focused

Cleaning is not a job that allows for multi-tasking. If you just get focused and stay focused on the task, it can be completed in no time. The difference between a professional cleaner and someone cleaning their own home is the fact that it is the professional cleaners paid job. They are not being interrupted by emails and phone calls or television program. Turn off your phone, put on some music, and conquer the task at hand.

Team Up

Cleaning done in a team of two or three is much more quick and easy. Professional cleaners often clean in partners or teams. This makes tasks like making the bed much easier. Knowing how to put on the sheets also gets the job done more efficiently. (Speed Hack: Tags on sheets go to the bottom of the bed. Use a fabric marker to mark left and right corners.) Even if you’re not a professional, make cleaning a family affair and get it done more quickly.

Or, you can skip all this and just call in the professional cleaning magicians. Give us a call today at 541-601-6236 to schedule a risk-free quote!

FAQ: The Cleaning Crew, LLC


How did The Cleaning Crew, LLC get started?

The Cleaning Crew, LLC  started rather humbly with our owner, Karen.  She took to house cleaning to support her daughters as a single mom. Soon she was connecting with other single moms, teaching them her detailed and highly effective house cleaning system…and The Cleaning Crew, LLC was born.   Karen decided 28 years ago that The Cleaning Crew, LLC would provide an elevated cleaning experience with clients’ peace of mind and satisfaction as the highest priority.

How has The Cleaning Crew, LLC changed over the years?

We’ve recognized during our 28-plus years of business that cleaning homes and offices is not only about providing great cleaning, it is also about providing our clients with a peace of mind and satisfaction as the highest priority. Today, The Cleaning Crew, LLC has more than 30 employees (and counting), and Karen’s ethic and passion for excellence shows up in everything we touch!

What makes The Cleaning Crew, LLC different from other cleaning companies?

Our company is a top of the line cleaning service based on 28 years of experience.  Our mission is to remain in gratitude and grace and to function as a whole with integrity at all times. Our service is personalized, dependable and always consists of the same detailed cleaning quality. Our Guarantee is to provide a first-rate cleaning experience you can always count on.

Also, we use products which are non-toxic and eco-friendly as often as possible and when requested by our customers.   We also recycle and reuse as many supplies as possible, such as our cleaning towels (they are cleaned and sanitized after each use); and we recycle and reuse our spray bottles and cleaning containers as often as we can.

The Cleaning Crew, LLC –  also supports and purchases supplies from other locally owned businesses’ whom are working to create awareness about green practices, for our use, out in the field and in our office.

All of these things together mean that our business not only uses “eco-friendly” cleaning products – but also (and very importantly!) strives to keep our local economy and community dollars circulating locally and within our community.

What makes your cleaners special?

They are given the opportunity to achieve personal and financial self-reliance while being offered a supportive work environment. Our Cleaners are honest, friendly and professionally trained to clean your home or office. Our Cleaners are verified by background checks and covered by worker’s compensation.

Do you clean homes in my area?

The Cleaning Crew Services all of Jackson and Josephine counties, including house cleaning and office cleaning in Medford, Ashland, Grant’s Pass, Central Point, White City, Eagle Point, Jacksonville, Ruch, Applegate, Shady Cove, and Williams.

How much will it cost to clean my home or office?

Probably less than you think! Call us at 541 601-6236 and we will either give you pricing over the phone or will set up a time to come out and give you an in-home pricing bid. The time/rate to clean a home or office depends on a few factors, namely: the size and condition of the home/office and the service program subscribed to.

If you are in need of a cleaning service,  please call our office today — You owe it to yourself and your household to call us for a quick no-obligation, over-the-phone quote! You’ll be thrilled to see how affordable this budget item can be, and the clear impact it will have on your life and family.  It is our business to make the process easy for you and set you up with a cleaning service which you will be happy with.

We are here to help you with all of your cleaning needs!

One-Stop Stain Removal Solution


In a previous blog post, we talked about stain removal.

One of the resources we shared was so helpful, we decided to spotlight it in a post of its own! This website was developed by Former University of Illinois Extension Educator, Susan Taylor.  “The University of Illinois Extension is the flagship outreach effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offering educational programs to residents of all of Illinois’ 102 counties—and far beyond.“

According to their website, they offer “practical education you can trust to help people, businesses, and communities solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future.” Here at The Cleaning Crew, LLC., we think their approach to stain removal is one of the best problem-solving sites on the internet.

Getting Started

When you visit the site, you can begin by clicking the “Getting Started” button at the top. This section offers general stain solutions for carpet, upholstery, and washable fabrics. Within each category, there are instructions for general care, general stain solutions, and a list of products and tools you will need to care for each type of fabric. Among these general tips are regular maintenance, vacuuming, and learning how to prevent and immediately treat messes.

No matter what fabric you are dealing with, a spot removal kit is recommended. This includes a detergent and vinegar solution. Cotton balls, paper towels, and a blunt kitchen knife also seem to be popular items on the must have list.

Stains A-Z

Once you have read up on the basics of stain removal, you can browse the index of thousands of stain solutions available on this site. You can click through an alphabetically organized list with featured photos or you can choose to search through a search bar. Either way, you are in for a stain-removing treat!

From adhesive to zucchini, this list addresses some stains you’ve battled with your entire life and other stains you never even knew were possible. This is where the fun starts. Once you click on a stain, there are immediate warnings at the top. Most frequent are a clock–which indicates the stain needs to be treated as soon as possible—and an exclamation mark which indicates any other generic warning.

Then, you will find the category–washable fabrics, upholstery, or carpet–that the stain removal method addresses and a list of what you will need to clean up the mess. Finally, you will find the clearly organized steps to cleaning the stain.

This stain fighting site is one of the best cleaning resources we have encountered here at The Cleaning Crew, LLC. We hope you find it as useful as we do. If you’d rather leave the stain removal to us, give us a call at 541-601-6236 for a free cleaning estimate.

DIY Car Detailing


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. Alternatively, you could seek out some Car Detailing Services that will prevent you from having to spend so long getting your car clean all by yourself.

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. Please remember that you don’t need to use loads of water when you are washing your car. Do not leave hoses running unnecessarily and don’t throw endless buckets of water over your car – it just wastes valuable water. If you feel you waste lots of water when you wash your car, it might be better to leave it to the experts. This car detailing company in Toronto, for example, use steam cleaning power to minimise water usage.

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

You can find the complete list here.

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. If you’re worried about scratching your car whilst washing it, you could look into getting a Ceramic coating for cars which helps prevent your car getting scratches.

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!

Easy Ways to Save Electricity This Summer


Summertime is great for relaxation and adventure. High electricity bills can eat up extra cash that could be used for travel or other fun. Since  we can’t all go out today and install solar panels and a windmill, here are some great alternatives to help cut down on electricity use and increase the fun this summer!

Eliminate Electronic Heat

A major part of reducing energy use in the summer is trying to eliminate use of an air conditioner. So, eliminating or reducing heat producing elements of your home is essential. Screens and machines put off a lot of heat. Make sure to turn off computers, appliances, lights, and TVs when they are not in use. According to Money Minded Mom, it is best to use LED light bulbs in all light light fixtures because they produce 95% light and only 5% heat. You also don’t have to use as many bulbs because they put out a more direct light.

Lessen the Laundry Load

When you are trying to use less energy, one of the easiest ways is to lessen your laundry. If you run all cycles on cold water, there is no need to separate darks and lights. This allows you to run larger loads, using the machine less. In addition, air-drying clothes instead of using a drying can eliminate quite a bit of heat. Read more ideas about going green from the Retro Housewife here.

Save for Sundown

If you must use the heat-producing elements of your home, wait until after the sun goes down. Green Shield Organic reasons that, “your air conditioner will not have to compensate for the added heat during the day” if wait until nighttime to do things like run the dryer or use the oven.

Automate Appliances

If possible, put all of your electronics on an automated system. Most air conditioners now are programmable and you can change the temperature with the touch of your phone.  The Binder Ladies recommend always keeping your air conditioner running, but to adjust the temperature up and down as necessary. Moving the dial can save a surprising amount of energy.

In addition, use power strips on all electronics and appliances. Then, you can ensure that electricity is cut off with the flip of just one switch instead of unplugging them all.

Frequently Use Fans

According to the San Francisco Gate, a standard residential air-conditioning system costs over $125 more dollars a month than a fan. Even if you are just using a window unit, you can still save close to $50 each month by running a fan instead. For the summer, make sure all of your ceiling fans are set counter-clockwise. If you use floor fans, you can put ice behind them and they will blow cooler air. Check out this and more Survival Life hacks on their list of 17 Ways to Keep Your House Cool and Save Money This Summer.

Ceiling fans to high or difficult to clean? Let us help! Call us today at 541-601-6236 to get a free estimate.

Watch the Windows

One of the major ways cool air escapes your home and hot air comes in is through cracks in windows or door seals. If you can, spend the money to install energy efficient windows. If not, the people at Prepper Lists suggest to make sure to properly seal all cracks or leaks. Then, put a tinted film on your windows or splurge on energy efficient curtains to reduce the amount of heat that comes in.

Also, keep your windows closed for as long you can in the morning to keep the cool, night air inside. Then, once it starts to get warm, open windows at each end of your home to create a cross-breeze to cool things down.

Summer Savings

Reducing the need for air conditioning is the number one way to save on energy costs in the summer. If you use these tips to help eliminate heat in your home, you should be successful in having an energy-saving season.

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