Practical tips to keep your home running smoothly during self-quarantine

The coronavirus has sent many Americans home to ride this pandemic out. All the increased food preparation, laundry and cleaning puts family members — as well as houses and apartments — under increased stress.

There are things you can do in this time of heightened awareness to help keep germs under control and make the most efficient use of home appliances. We have been speaking to experts to address some of these issues. Here are some highlights.

Figure out what they are eating before they open the door. As regular maintenance, you should be vacuuming the coils on your refrigerator so it isn’t overworked from being clogged with dust, pet hair and dirt. Check your manual for where these coils are located. Some are accessed by removing the front panel, and some are in the back.

Check to see whether you have a sanitizing cycle on your washing machine, dryer or dishwasher. Many newer washing machines, dryers and dishwashers have a sanitize-cycle option. These cycles offer the hottest temperatures available in your appliances, making them the best choice for anyone concerned about germs. World Health Organization statistics show that temperatures of 140 to 150 degrees are enough to kill most viruses.

If your washing machine has a sanitizing cycle, you might want to use it for bedding or clothing you have worn outdoors.  Standard hot-water cycles in washers tend to be as warm as your hot-water heater setting, traditionally about 120 degrees. A sanitizing cycle can vary in different brands and models but may include hot-water temperatures that reach 140 degrees, and additional agitation time, rinses and spins to remove soils and bacteria. Some models also require an oxygen bleach cleaning additive to power the sanitizing cycle. (Both bacteria and viruses are germs, but machines are only tested for killing bacteria.)

Some dryers also have sanitize cycles of high heat at 145 degrees to kill germs. They could be useful at this time for bedding, especially when someone is ill. If you don’t have a sanitizing option, he suggests drying a load normally using a high heat setting immediately followed by a timed dry cycle on high heat for a minimum of 45 minutes.

If you have a dishwasher, this may be the time to use it on a regular basis vs. washing dishes by hand. During the sanitize cycle in GE Appliances dishwashers, the water will reach at least 150 degrees to kill 99 percent of germs.  The water temperature in a normal dishwasher cycle is 125-135 degrees, and hand-washing temperatures are even lower and vary based on the tolerance of the person washing dishes.  Dishwasher companies statistics say that a sanitizing cycle kills 99 percent of bacteria.

Call us for all your house cleaning Overland Park KS needs; and we will get with you on our special and discounted pricing.

Tidy Up Angels – call us today at 913-642-2006 – or fill out our online estimator for your home: https://www.tidyupangels.com/house-cleaning/

How to clean and disinfect your home

How to clean and disinfect your home

Cleaning and disinfecting your home during Coronavirus can seem over whelming, but here is a simple way that we can clean and disinfect.

How to clean and disinfect

Hard (Non-porous) Surfaces

  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available here external icon. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products for (concentration, application method and contact time, etc.)

Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.

  • Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards
  • Ensure adequate ventilation
  • Use no more than the amount recommended on the label
  • Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)
  • Avoid mixing chemical products
  • Label diluted cleaning solutions
  • Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets

You should never eat, drink, breathe or inject these products into your body or apply directly to your skin as they can cause serious harm. Do not wipe or bathe pets with these products or any other products that are not approved for animal use.

See EPA’s 6 steps for Safe and Effective Disinfectant Use external icon

    • Additionally, diluted household bleach solutions (at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite, or concentration of 5%–6%) can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute, and allowing proper ventilation during and after application. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against corona viruses when properly diluted.
  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of room temperature water
  • Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours.

Soft (Porous) Surfaces

  • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
    • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely.
      • Otherwise, use products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 external icon and that are suitable for porous surfaces.

Electronics

  • For electronics such as cell phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, and keyboards, remove visible contamination if present.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
    • Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics.
    • If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

Linens, clothing, and other items that go in the laundry

  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard after each use. If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other household purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
    • If no gloves are used when handling dirty laundry, be sure to wash hands afterwards.
    • If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
    • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
    • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces. If possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered.

Hand hygiene and other preventive measures

  • Household members should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.

We will all get through this together and remember Tidy Up Angels for all your home cleaning needs. Tidy Up Angels in Overland Park at 913-642-2006

How do you clean Coronavirus

How do you clean Coronavirus

There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on what is currently known about COVID-19, spread from person-to-person of this virus happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. On the other hand, transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documentedRecent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through objects and surfaces, like doorknobs, countertops, keyboards, toys, etc. Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

It is unknown how long the air inside a room occupied by someone with confirmed COVID-19 remains potentially infectious. Facilities will need to consider factors such as the size of the room and the ventilation system design (including flowrate [air changes per hour] and location of supply and exhaust vents) when deciding how long to close off rooms or areas used by ill persons before beginning disinfection.  Taking measures to improve ventilation in an area or room where someone was ill or suspected to be ill with COVID-19 will help shorten the time it takes respiratory droplets to be removed from the air.

Purpose

This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of households where persons under investigation (PUI) or those with confirmed COVID-19 reside or may be in self- isolation. It is aimed at limiting the survival of the virus in the environments. These recommendations will be updated if additional information becomes available.

These guidelines are focused on household settings and are meant for the general public.

  • Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

General recommendations for routine cleaning and disinfection of households

Community members can practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics (see below for special electronics cleaning and disinfection instructions)) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectantsexternal icon that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.

Call us for all your house cleaning Overland Park KS needs; and we will get with you on our special and discounted pricing.

Tidy Up Angels – call us today at 913-642-2006 – or fill out our online estimator for your home: https://www.tidyupangels.com/house-cleaning/

How to Clean Your Windows and Glass Without Streaks

Don’t give up if your first attempt at cleaning your windows doesn’t come out perfect. Try a small tweak to your cleaning solution.  These tips and tricks are from our Tidy Up Angels.  And by the way ask us about our whole house cleaning services Overland Park Special!

Fill a squirt bottle with a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and distilled water (or undiluted vinegar for very resistant spots) to remove white spots caused by hard water build-up. Spray the spots and remove with a microfiber cloth or soft bristle cleaning brush. Rinse with clean water and squeegee dry or follow up with the no-squeegee method.

When using microfiber cleaning cloths, either dip the cloth in the solution and wring it out or spray the glass surface. Begin to wipe in a circular motion and as the spots disappear, follow-up with vertical strokes and finish with horizontal strokes (or vice versa). Use your finger tips/fingernails for extra scrubbing power or scrunch up the cloth on stubborn spots.

Finish one side of the window with horizontal strokes and the other side with vertical strokes so if streaks appear, you know which side they are on.

Lemon juice and baking soda (mixed with water to form a paste) are also effective at removing spots from windows or mirrors. Allow the baking soda paste to sit a few minutes on stubborn stains like toothpaste or hold a cloth soaked in cleaning solution against the spot to loosen its hold. Add lemon juice to any homemade cleaner for a refreshing scent. Whenever possible, use distilled water to help eliminate streaks.

Shaving cream removes soap scum from glass shower doors, cleans cloudy mirrors and will prevent foggy windows and mirrors in the bathroom after hot showers. Apply the cream with your fingertips and smear it all over the surface. Remove it with a clean, dry cloth and reapply every 2-3 weeks.

When Cleaning windows with squeechee’s

When using a squeegee, use one continuous motion from top to bottom. Wipe the solution off of the squeegee with a damp cloth before making your next pass on the window. Overlap the clean area slightly so you don’t leave a line of solution between each squeegee pass.

Buff away streaks left from squeegeeing with a dry microfiber cloth or crumbled up newspaper.

If you prefer using newspaper or a coffee filter, apply the solution with a spray bottle. Wipe the solution away using horizontal or vertical strokes for a streak-free finish.

Clean your windows on an overcast day or when the sun isn’t shining directly on the window. The sun dries the cleaning solution before you can remove it, leaving behind streaks and marks.

Always wet the glass or use a damp cloth to remove spots on the window. Scraping at a spot on a dry window might scratch the glass. Rubbing dry dirt can also cause small scratches on the glass surface.

Never use abrasives on the windows. You might scratch the glass.

Avoid using paper towels as they leave bits of lint and paper remnants.

If you use a commercial window cleaner, choose one with an ammonia base like Windex. This lets the solution dry faster and reduces the chances of chemicals being left behind. Never use an ammonia-based cleaner on tinted windows.

Take special care when cleaning stained glass. Dust the surface frequently and use only filtered or distilled water to avoid discoloring the glass.

Try different combinations of cleaning solutions and cleaning tools to find the one that works best for you.

If you are to your wits end and do not want to mess with it and want to leave it to the pro’s – call us for all your house cleaning Overland Park KS needs; and we will get with you on our special and discounted pricing.

Tidy Up Angels – call us today at 913-642-2006 – or fill out our online estimator for your home: https://www.tidyupangels.com/house-cleaning/

Cleaning Wipes – Great for everything

Cleaning wipes are easy to make, economical, and contain only those cleaning agents you select. Use them in the kitchen, the bathroom, or for cleaning windows.  These little things will help get you through until the Tidy Up Angels can come back for your monthly cleaning.  And if you don’t have us helping with your cleaning and want to leave it to the Angels – we can help with all your house cleaning services in Leawood KS and Overland Park KS needs.  No job in the KC Metro area is to big for us Angels.

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Here are some great tips and tricks when it comes to making your own refillable cleaning wipes – and put homemade cleaning wipes to work for you with our easy instructions and cleaning recipes.

Homemade Cleaning Wipes

Materials and Equipment Needed:

  • cylindrical or tall square plastic food storage container, 10-cup capacity
  • extra-large roll of paper towels
  • cleaning agents of your choice (recipes follow)
  • electric drill with 1/2-inch drill bit
  • electric knife
  • liquid measuring cups

Instructions:

In the garage, place a small block of wood beneath the plastic food storage container lid. Use electric drill to drill a 1/2-inch diameter hole in the center of the container lid.

For best results, select an extra-large roll of good quality paper towels for this project. Less-expensive towels fray or shred when pulled through the holder; thicker quilted towels have greater cleaning strength and withstand more scrubbing.

Without removing the paper towel wrapper, use the electric knife to cut the paper towel roll into two shorter rolls. Be patient! It may take up to two minutes to cut through the towel roll and cardboard tube inside.

Remove the wrapper, and place one short paper towel roll inside plastic food storage container. Save the second roll for a refill later.

Using a liquid measuring cup, gently pour one of the following cleaning solution recipes over the top of the paper towel roll.

Place the lid on the plastic food storage container, and allow paper towels to absorb cleaning solution for overnight.

Open the food storage container. Gently pull the wet cardboard tube from the center of the paper towel roll and discard.

Carefully pull the end of the paper towels from the inside, where the cardboard roll had been. Thread the end of the towels through the hole in the lid, and replace the lid.

Pull gently on the exposed end to separate the cleaning wipe.

You can make your own concoction – but here are some Cleaning Wipes Recipes

You will need between 2 and 4 cups of cleaning solution to fill your homemade cleaning wipes container, depending on the size and absorbency of the paper towel product selected. These cleaning recipes make about three cups of solution; increase or decrease amounts if needed.

General Surface Cleaning Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Disinfectant Cleaning:
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup pine cleaning solution such as Pine-Sol brand
  • 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cup water
  • Window and Glass Cleaning:
  • 1/2 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
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Tired of scrubbing and cleaning and want to be done with it – call the Tidy Up Angels and we will do your entire house cleaning.  Call the Tidy Up Angels today at 913-642-2006 – or fill out our online estimator for your home: https://www.tidyupangels.com/house-cleaning/ And ask us about our whole house cleaning services in Leawood KS specials.