For a FREE estimate call
New customers: 503-492-0197
Existing customers call
Existing customers: 503-492-0197
Join the Conversation

Portland Maid Service Blog


About Our Vacuums

03-27-2017

One of the things about Maid Brigade of Portland that sets us apart from some other maid services is that our processes have been proven to help improve the air quality inside the home by leaving 3x less particulate matter in the home. This is accomplished in part by using top of the line quadruple stage HEPA filter vacuums.

Our teams use Proteam Inc. Sierra backpack vacuums. Since 1987, ProTeam has been recognized as a leader in efficient vacuum cleaner filtration, cleaning effectiveness, quality, durability and advanced features. They have been approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute for the Vacuum Cleaner and Indoor Air Quality Testing Program, exceeding the stringent requirements for soil removal, dust containment, and carpet appearance retention.

ProTeam backpack vacuums are 99.9% efficient at filtering particles 1 micron or larger. The system captures particulates and pollutants both visible and invisible that can harm health and trigger asthma or allergies. This includes the ability to remove hair, dust mites, heavy industrial dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, yeast, bacteria, viruses and tobacco smoke. It helps to eliminate the need for daily dusting.

The vacuums remove more soil without stirring up dust that would cause you to breathe unhealthy air. ProTeam’s exclusive HEPA and Four level Filtration also help to ensure allergen particulates stay out of the air. Another factor that sets us apart is our maintenance to our vacuums. We change our vacuum bags at least once daily and change out the filters once a week.

Indoor air quality is an important issue for many people, and the American Lung Association® and ProTeam, Inc. partnered in a 3 year national effort to help more individuals understand the issues surrounding indoor air quality as well as steps to take to help ensure a healthier indoor environment.

“We’re gratified the American Lung Association has chosen to partner with us to educate the public about the importance of clean and healthy indoor air,” said Larry Shideler, ProTeam’s President. “The partnership fits with our corporate philosophy to foster public awareness as well as practical initiatives to improve indoor environments.”

“This exclusive educational partnership recognizes the American Lung Association's mission of preventing lung disease and promoting lung health,” said John Kirkwood, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “And we are excited to be working with ProTeam since they are a company that shares our vision.”

For more information about ProTeam vacuums, visit them online at http://www.pro-team.com.


Naturally Removing Paint From Brass Hardware

01-04-2017

My home was built in 1943, and there are still some original brass fixtures, such as doorknobs, throughout the house. However, the people that have lived in our house before did not take care of them whatsoever. The knobs

were not removed when past painting projects were done, leaving layers upon layers of caked on, old paint, not to mention 70 years of grime and dirt embedded into the texture. EWWW!!!

We have been doing some repainting of our own in the home recently, and I am doing things the right way. I removed the old knobs and decided to do my best to bring them back to their original beauty.

WHAT I USED:

  • Old Pot (since the potential for lead paint exists, I advise using an old pot you do not plan on cooking in again for this project)
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Pliers or tongs
  • Old toothbrush
  • Baking soda
  • Ketchup

WHAT I DID:

  • 1)I started out by filling my old pot with water, enough to submerge the fixtures completely. I put them on the stove and boiled the water for one hour. Be sure to check the water levels often, as the water will steam away and you don’t want your fixtures to become exposed.
  • 2)After an hour of boiling, I filled a bowl with water and ice cubes. Using a pair of needle nose pliers, I carefully removed the fixtures from the boiling water and transferred them to the ice water bath.
  • 3)Using a bit of baking soda as a mild abrasive, I took my trusty old toothbrush and started to scrub away the old paint. Let me tell you, this was WAY easier than I anticipated. The paint literally peeled off. I did not have to do a lot of scrubbing at all. There were a few tiny flakes that were a bit stubborn, but I just chipped off with my fingernail in the grooves. It was so simple!
  • 4)Now that my fixtures are paint free, time to polish them up. I emptied the ice water out of my bowl, put the fixtures back inside and covered them liberally with ketchup. I let them sit and soak for about 5 minutes.
  • 5)Again using my toothbrush, I scrubbed the old grimy, nasty grossness off as best as I could. The exposed brass is now a gorgeous pinkish gold color. A bit of dirt was still embedded deep in the texture on the face of the knobs, which I tried to scrub out with more baking soda. They are not perfect, but the look SOOOO much nicer than before!!!

So I say this was a totally successful project! Along with the newly painted doors, the brass doorknobs look fresh and their vintage beauty shines through!


Proven Tidy Tip – Naturally Cleaning Silver

12-12-2016


Just in time for the holidays, a proven method to naturally clean silver!

My first Mother’s Day celebration happened just weeks after my son was born. My Mom gave me a small silver cup in which she had his name and the date engraved. It was such a thoughtful gift. I carefully displayed the cup on my son’s dresser.

This was over four years ago now. As anyone in the Portland area knows, silver tarnishes very quickly in our damp Pacific Northwest environment. So the poor cup was looking very dingy and not nearly as cute anymore. It was more of an eyesore than a prized memento. One of those things I glanced at and thought, I really should figure out how to clean that, but never really got around to it. Until now…

I browsed online in search of an all-natural method to clean the tarnish off the silver cup and bring it back to its previously shiny glory.

What I used:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Microfiber towel
  • Medium sized bowl
  • Spoon

First I lined the inside of the bowl with aluminum foil. I then filled the bowl until the cup would be completely emerged. I added ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ cup salt to the water and stirred until they both had completely dissolved.

Now came the test – would it work? I dunked the cup into the water and literally could not grab my camera fast enough to capture the tarnish vanishing before my eyes! How exciting! This first photo was taken only about 5 seconds after dipping the cup into the solution.

I let the cup rest in the solution about 10 minutes, rotating it a few times to make sure all sides were becoming shiny again.

Once I was satisfied that the tarnish was about gone, I removed the cup from the bowl and using my microfiber cloth, gently buffed the silver until it was dry. The cup is just as shiny and clean as it was my very first Mother’s Day when I took it out of the gift box. I was so happy, and am proud to display it on my son’s dresser once again.

So this method has officially been tested and approved successful by Maid Brigade of Portland! Break out your tarnished silver and give it a whirl!


Eliminate Autumn Allergies

10-24-2016


We are already over half way through October, and we hope you have been enjoying all of the fun early autumn activities. Visiting pumpkin patches, getting lost in a corn maze, trick or treating, sitting by a bonfire – these are the things that make fall so great. However, with the change in season come fall time allergies. Molds and fungus are abundant and can cause havoc on our respiratory systems.

There are a few ways Maid Brigade can help protect yourself, your family and your pets from these nuisances.

  • Schedule a deep cleaning for us to concentrate on specifically on dust removal. Throughout the summer months, windows and doors have probably been left open, and outdoor dust and allergens have settled in hard to reach corners, on woodwork, and in nooks and crannies you never even thought to clean. In addition, since the cooler temperatures are upon us, we are now closing the home up and turning on the heater for the first time in months. This can push settled dust and debris into the air. Maid Brigade specializes in reaching those hard to reach areas and helps to remove the irritants from your home. We use microfiber cloths, which collect dust and other allergens and takes it out with us, instead of other common methods, like feather dusters, that just fling irritants to other areas of the home.
  • We offer our Vapurclean System to help fight mold and mildew in your home. Mildew thrives in warm moist areas that have poor air circulation. In the average household, mildew is typically found in the bathrooms. The corners, cracks and crevices of the tub, shower, sink and toilet are the most common areas infected. It ranges in color from a pinkish-orange to black. Your Maid Brigade cleaning team will be able to impede the growth of mildew by removing the built up food sources that it lives on, such as soap, skin, hair and etc. Using only water, our dry steam Vapurclean machine can be used on grout, tile, and other areas in the bathroom to help gain control on the common Pacific Northwest problem. However, as long as moisture and warmth are present, the spores will immediately germinate and mildew will again be growing on the host area. With regular Maid Brigade service, we can continue to help control the soap scum and hardwater buildup that would cause the mildew to return.
  • We can also use the Vapurclean system on the dry living room and bedroom surfaces in your home, such as carpets, upholstered furniture, drapes, and even mattresses. This process is done to kill allergens such as dust mites. We also use a top of the line, triple filtration vacuum that has been proven by the Carpet and Rug Institute to help improve air quality in the home – which is exactly what everyone needs this time of year!

Contact Maid Brigade of Portland at 503-492-0197 or online at http://bit.ly/estimate_free for more information on how we can help get your home ready for the winter months that are just around the corner! **Mention this blog post and receive 25% off any added VapurClean System tasks! Offer Expires 11/15/16**


​Eco-friendly End of the Summer Cleaning Tips

10-10-2016


Everyone has heard of spring cleaning, but how about end of summer cleaning? Now that the season has turned to autumn and the weather is cooling, it is time to pack up our summer accessories. We have compiled a list of easy to accomplish post-summer cleaning tasks. Best of all, these methods are all eco-friendly!
1) Barbecue Grill – Months of grilling hot dogs, burgers and steaks will leave any grill a greasy, charred mess. Create a paste of baking soda and apply the mixture to the grill. Leave it sit overnight. Apply generously to areas needing the most help. You can then use a stiff brush or even balled up tinfoil to scrub off the grime.
2) Ice Cooler – A season of chilling drinks can wreak havoc on the inside of your cooler, leaving it musty and gross. Mix of a small amount of baking soda and water together to form a paste. Rub the paste on any stains inside the water cooler and let sit for a couple of minutes. Then use the scrub brush to clean the interior and exterior with the paste. Pour a small amount of vinegar inside the cooler and mix with the baking soda mixture until it bubbles. Just rinse the cooler out with a garden hose and let the cooler air-dry with the lid open. Once it’s dry completely, store it away for the next time you need it.
3) Tent - If you do get mildew spots on your tent, it’s very difficult to remove it completely, but you can treat it. Mix non-detergent soap, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of lemon juice, and 1 gallon of hot water. Then, use this mix and a soft nylon brush to scrub the interior and exterior of the tent, as well as the fly. Then simply dry the tent in the sun.
4) Pool Toys – After a summer of water play, plastic pool and water toys can get very grimy. Fill a dark colored spray bottle with 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 2 parts water. Spray down your water toys and then wipe clean.
5) Outdoor Furniture Cushions – Before putting away outdoor furniture before the rainy season hits, it’s a good idea to clean the cushions. Brush off any loose dirt. Then, make a cleaning solution of ¼ cup mild detergent and 1/2 cup vinegar in a gallon of warm water. Using a brush, scrub the surfaces of the cushions. Lay in the sun to dry, rotating occasionally to be sure they are totally dry before storing, which will help avoid mildew growth.
6) Window Air Conditioner Filter – It is almost time for storing the A/C unit for the off season. But before you do, you should always clean the filter. Slide out or unclip the filter from the unit and vacuum off any buildup of dirt. Mix a solution of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water in a container or tub large enough to submerge the filter. The vinegar will remove allergens and harmful bacteria that have collected on the filter ... water alone can't do this. Submerge the filter in the cleaning solution and allow it to soak for at least an hour. Lift the filter out of the liquid and allow to drain. Do not rinse, but allow to dry as is. When thoroughly dry, return it to its place and put the cover back on.
7) Luggage – Now that your summer travel is over, take a moment to clean your luggage and bags. Disinfect contact areas such as handles, the bottom of the bag or wheels by wiping or spraying the bag with 91 percent isopropyl alcohol. Spot clean any stains with a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water. Before putting the luggage away, use a crevice cleaner to vacuum out the entire suitcase.

Doing these easy end of the summer cleaning tasks at the beginning of the autumn season will help insure a happy beginning to next years summer!



Hello Classmates, Hello Germs

09-28-2016


It is back to school time again! With back to school comes an increased risk for the spread of germs.

Did you know?:

On average elementary school children get 8 to 12 colds or cases of the flu each school year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to statistics from the National Library of Medicine, the common cold accounts for approximately 22 million missed days of school and 20 million absences from work.

The CDC also reports that 38 million school days are lost each year due to the influenza virus.

Hot Spots for Germs at School:

While the bathroom does get cleaned more regularly than the other hot spots on this list, it is still a haven for germs. Do not set down backpacks, instrument cases or jackets on bathroom floors or counters. When these items are taken home and placed on a dining table, the germs that were picked up get transferred to this surface.

Drinking Fountains do not get disinfected as regularly, and small children tend to put their mouths right on the faucet itself. Run the water a little first and then drink. Or better yet, kids could bring their own water bottles to school and not share them with anyone.

Cafeteria trays are another germ hot zone. An idea to suggest to kids is to bring the tray to their table and then use hand sanitizer before they pick up their food.

Ways to fight the germs:

--- Encouraging sick students and staff to stay home. Your child should be symptom free for at least 24 hours before returning to the classroom.

--- The nose and mouth should be covered with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and the tissue should be thrown in the trash immediately after use.

--- Get plenty of sleep (School-age children should get 10 to 11 hours of sleep every night)

--- Exercise regularly (a daily dose of 40 minutes of running-around time)

--- Eat healthy food

--- Wash their hands often (or use antibacterial gels for when you can't) – TIP: Sing 'happy birthday' to yourself twice to make sure they wash for at least 20 seconds.

--- When weather turns cold, keep their jackets zipped, gloves on their hands and hats on their heads when outdoors.

--- Get a flu shot early in the season

How Maid Brigade can help:

Don’t forget that housecleaning on a regular basis helps minimize the spread of germs in your home. Maid Brigade offers our VapurClean System, which uses a dry steam vapor to do such tasks as:

KITCHEN:

Disinfect floor tile/grout

Disinfect counter tile/grout

Clean fridge

Clean freezer

Clean oven

Clean cabinets

Clean woodwork

Disinfect Garbage Disposals

BATHROOM:

Disinfect floor tile/grout

Disinfect counter tile/grout

Disinfect wall tile/grout

Disinfect shower tile/grout

Disinfect toilets

Clean cabinets

Clean woodwork

GENERAL:

Mattress Dust Mite Control (includes making the bed)

Carpets

Draperies

Furniture/Upholsteries

Windows, tracks, and screens

Barbecue Grill (Webber style)

Mention this blog post and receive 25% off any added VapurClean System tasks. Email portland@Maidbrigade.com for additional info or to redeem the discount.


Back to School!

09-02-2016



Kids across the country are heading back to school and parents are left wondering “what happened to our house?!?!”

The presence of active children in your home may have left it looking like a tornado has set down. Dirt tracked in from outdoors is embedded in the floors. Spills in the fridge from the constant search for snacks. General disarray of living rooms, family rooms and bedrooms … it can seem overwhelming! Never fear: Maid Brigade is here to help out!
Start your school year off right by having Maid Brigade come to do a full house cleaning. We will get the nooks and crannies caught up from the summer, and then continue to maintain that level of cleanliness on a weekly, every other week or once a month basis. Imagine how nice it will be to not have to worry about cleaning your home once the holiday season comes!
What sounds better? Getting this all done at a discount!
New clients can receive a total discount of $150 by signing up for regular service. The service includes a deep cleaning to get those details caught back up! This is our top-of-the line cleaning. We come into your home on an hourly basis and spend as much time as needed to make sure everything you've requested is cleaned.
Our regular clients may also need some TLC now that the kiddos are classroom bound again. Below is a list of deep cleaning tasks that can be added to any regular visit at a 20% discount:

KITCHEN
Clean inside empty kitchen cabinets and drawers
Clean freezer
Clean inside fridge
Clean oven
Clean under stove hood
Clean area above kitchen cabinets & decorator items displayed there
Clean under the stove top (area beneath drip pans)
Remove all items from kitchen cabinets, clean inside,
and replace items
Spot clean walls
Wash baseboards
Wash door frames
Wash interior windows and windowsills
Wash kitchen cabinets
Hand wash dishes or load dishwasher


BATHROOM
Clean inside empty bathroom cabinets & drawers
Remove items from cabinets, clean inside, and replace
items
Spot clean bathroom cabinets
Spot clean walls
Wash baseboards
Wash door frames
Wash walls from ceiling to floor
Wash interior windows and windowsills

GENERAL
Change linens (if left on bed)
Clean interior French doors
Clean out fireplace (must be unused for minimum of 72 hours prior to cleaning)
Clean under beds
Clean window tracks & frames
Vacuum window blinds with HEPA vacuum
Move (easily moved) furniture to clean under & behind
Polish baseboards with client's furniture polish
Polish wood paneling with client's Liquid Gold
Remove books from bookshelves to clean
Remove CD's or Video tapes from storage shelves to clean
Roll up area rugs to clean beneath
Spot clean walls for dog rubbings or hand prints
Take down and wash light fixtures
Vacuum bedding or mattresses with HEPA filter vacuum
Vacuum cold air returns and heater vents (not ductwork) with HEPA filter vacuum
Vacuum curtains with HEPA filter vacuum
Vacuum stuffed animals and toys with HEPA filter vacuum
Vacuum upholstered furniture
Wash baseboards
Wash door frames
Wash interior windows and windowsills
Wash walls from ceiling to floor, or prep walls for painting
Wash wood paneling
Visit us at http://bit.ly/estimate_free or give us a call at 503-492-0197 to get started. Be sure to mention that you saw the coupon on the blog!



Poison Plants in Oregon

08-08-2016


With this nice summer weather comes lots of opportunity for outdoor play. Hikes, trips to local rivers and lakes, and camping will bring us into the wooded wonderlands that Oregon has to offer. However, these forests are home to poison plants that we all want to avoid.

The three main poison species in the Pacific Northwest are poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. All three contain an oily irritanting sap called urushiol. The three plants are all abundant in our local damp, shady rainforests and one touch can spread into a horrible rash. Here we will look into how to identify these three offenders, and if you do happen to come in contact with them, how you may be able to naturally treat the rashes.

Poison Ivy:

“Leaves of Three, Let it Be!” This old rhyme is a good reminder of the grouping of three leaves that is common with poison ivy. The leaves are pointed. Spring and summer time leaves are green, and turn to reddish in the autumn. Also, in the autumn, the plant produces white berries (which, as a rule, white berries on any plant should be avoided).


Poison Oak:

Poison oak is the most common found here in our area. It closely resembles poison ivy, although it is usually more shrub-like, and its leaves are shaped somewhat like oak leaves. The plant usually with three leaflets but sometimes up to seven leaflets per leaf group. The underside of the leaves are hairy and lighter green.


Poison Sumac:

Poison sumac grows as a woody shrub, with each stem containing 7 to 13 leaves arranged in pairs. Poison sumac can be distinguished from harmless sumac by its drooping clusters of green berries. It grows most commonly in wet, swampy areas.

Treatment

Now that you have the ability to avoid the plants, you will have a better chance of not needing to treat their effects. However, accidents do happen. If you find yourself sporting a fancy new red, blistery, itchy rash after spending time outdoors, chances are you have had an encounter with urushiol.

  • First thing you should do is thoroughly wash with a grease cutting dish soap, such as Dawn. Grease cutting soap will break down urushiol oils. Follow up with dabbing apple cider vinegar or lemon juice on the affected areas. It also helps to break down the oils.
  • Wash your clothing and your pets! The urushiol oils can spread on clothing. Pets, while not affected by the oils, can have it caught in their fur after a fun day in the woods. The oil can then easily be spread around your environment.
  • Time to take a soak. Prepare yourself a bath with either a cup of finely ground oatmeal or a cup of baking soda. Both are soothing and will help draw out toxins.
  • You will then want to dry out the blisters as best as possible. Natural products that can help with this would be salt water (dissolve one ounce of sea salt in 1 quart of water), mouthwash (the alcohol and mint help dry out the wound, plus it is antibacterial), or rhubarb stem (use the stem juice found near the roots). All the above mentioned methods can be applied by dipping a cotton ball into the liquid and wipe the wound, or apply to a bandage and left on for the day.
  • Once the blisters have stopped oozing, you will want to concentrate on controlling the inflammation and encourage healing. Cold coffee has been known as a great anti-inflammatory. You can also try witch hazel, which can calm the itch and its astringent qualities will promote healing. Tea tree oil, lavender oil and calamine lotion work wonderfully as well.
  • Lastly, remember do not scratch and do not pop the blisters! This can lead to scarring, infection and will undoubtedly prolong the misery and healing process.

Proven Tidy Tip – Naturally Clean Gas Stove Burners

05-16-2016

We routinely have posted tidy tips on our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts, relying on the credibility of the posts because of what we know about the recommended cleaning products. Since we are a Green Clean Certified cleaning company, we like to refer our clients to natural Do It Yourself methods for some tasks that Maid Brigade may not normally take care of. But do the methods truly work? Today we will tackle another all-natural cleaning method to see if the claims are true, or if it is a “Pinterest Myth” so to speak.

I will admit, my gas stove burners and the surrounding white porcelain stovetop were looking pretty nasty. I read online that you can spray the burners with a bit of oven cleaner to easily clean them, but YUCK! Talk about toxic! I wanted to find a safe, yet easy and effective way to get rid of the grimy film and leave my stove looking sparkling clean.

After doing a bit of online research, I found a method that only took two ingredients that most of us have sitting around the house.

What I used:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • An old toothbrush
  • towel

Step 1

In a small bowl, I mixed about 2 tbsp baking soda with an equal amount of vinegar. It immediately started to fizz and bubble. Reminded me of the old elementary school volcano projects! I used my toothbrush to stir the mixture together to form a watery paste.

Step 2

I slowly poured the mixture onto the burner and surrounding stovetop area. I used the toothbrush to push the mixture around so that the entire surface was covered

Step 3

I let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes to really break down the grease and grime

Step 4

Now came the elbow grease. Using my trusty old toothbrush, I began scrubbing the grime away. It was a lot easier than I expected. The mixture had done a fantastic job on loosening the gunk and made the elbow grease portion of the project less painful than anticipated.

Step 5

Using a towel, I simply wiped off the grime and mix. I rinsed my toothbrush well and used it to clean any dried baking soda residue that got stuck in the gas holes along the outer edges of the burner. I turned the burner on and it burned away the remainder that my toothbrush was not able to remove. NOTE: some burners are pickier than others and will not light if even slightly damp. Do not panic! Just let them dry more. In a few hours, try again. Also, the baking soda gunk did clog two of my burner holes. But I just left the burner on for about 2 minutes and when I came back, all were working just fine.

Step 6

Enjoy your nice, clean, shiny burner!!!


The Importance of a Moving Day Cleaning

04-12-2016


This time two and a half years ago, my husband and I were neck deep in the process of looking to purchase our first home. We had looked at many potential houses, but none of them even came close to home, so to speak.

One thing I remember the most about our search was how many houses we looked at were just plain filthy. It made me wonder how many people getting ready to sell their home know about move out cleanings? Do they even see the value of how important it is to put your house’s best face forward when it is on the market?

Many realtors call in to get information about move out services for their clients, and sometimes they express that their clients feel that it would be out of their planned budget. But as a realtor recently put it to me, avoiding the minimal cost of having the house cleaned is like saving pennies but losing dollars. She told me that she has explained to many clients that a couple of hundred dollars invested in your home can yield thousands more in an offer.

The best reason to have your home professionally cleaned prior to putting your house on the market is that it presents the home in the best possible light to prospective buyers. Even dusty windows can turn off a buyer and if your place gets good light, you'll want that aspect emphasized. Keep in mind that it is not a home anymore when it's on the market.It is a product and you must appeal to as many buyers as possible. With so much competitive inventory, you really need to make your house stand out. You only get one time to make that first impression.

When my husband and I did finally find a house we wanted to put an offer on, we simply had to overlook that it was filthy. The place had sat on the market for almost 150 days before we came along. I truly believe that it was because potential buyers walked in, were disgusted by the dirty conditions, and walked right back out. Knowing that I would have Maid Brigade in there as soon as the keys were in my hand gave me piece of mind. My initial belief was confirmed in my mind when our home inspection cleared with no glaring issues. The house was just in need of some TLC in the cleaning and updating department. The pictures throughout this blog post are true before and after’s of the condition of the house. Thanks to the Maid Brigade team that scrubbed for hours and hours prior to our moving day, when I came in after they had left, I felt like I was walking into home and felt comfortable moving my family in.

So whether you are prepping your own house for sale or if you have recently purchased a home and want to be sure to get rid of dirt, germs, etc. from the previous homeowners or tenants before moving yourself in, I highly suggest having a moving day cleaning done!

Below is a list of standard Maid Brigade Moving Day Cleaning tasks, as well as additional special tasks that our teams can do to help turn that house into a home. For more information or to receive a customized moving day cleaning quote, please visit us at http://www.maidbrigade.com/or/portland/.









Moving Day Cleaning Routine

- Our standard moving day task list

KITCHEN
Clean all countertops
Clean inside and outside empty kitchen cabinets and drawers
Clean inside refrigerator and freezer
Clean oven and stove top
Clean under the stove top (beneath drip pans)
Wash baseboards
Wash doorframes and windowsills
Clean outside of dishwasher
Wash light fixtures
Spot clean interior windows
Clean sink and faucets
Sweep and wash floor

BATHROOMS
Clean shower and tub enclosure
Clean & disinfect inside and outside of toilet
Clean mirrors
Clean soap dishes
Wash light fixtures
Clean and polish chrome
Clean vanity and sink area
Sweep and wash floor
Clean inside and outside empty bathroom cabinets & drawers
Wash baseboards
Wash doorframes and windowsills
Spot clean interior windows

GENERAL
Vacuum carpeted areas/Clean Hardwoods
Remove cobwebs
Lightly dust window blinds
Clean interior French doors
Clean out fireplace (must be unused for minimum of 72 hours prior to cleaning)
Clean window tracks & frames
Take down and wash light fixtures
Wash baseboards
Wash doorframes and windowsills
Spot clean interior windows
Vacuum curtains with HEPA filter vacuum
Wash windowsills

Clean light switches and switch plates
Clean sliding glass doors inside & out

Moving Day Optional Tasks

- Additional tasks that some clients add to their moving day cleanup.

KITCHEN
Remove items from cabinets, clean inside, and replace items
Wash walls and/or ceilings to prep for paint

Clean under stove hood
Spot clean cabinets
Spot clean walls
Help with packing or unpacking
Wash interior windows

BATHROOM
Remove items from cabinets, clean inside, and replace items
Help with packing or unpacking
Spot clean bathroom cabinets
Spot clean walls
Wash interior windows

GENERAL
Vacuum window blinds with HEPA vacuum
Roll up area rugs to clean beneath
Remove stray personal items to on-site trash container.
Spot clean walls for dog rubbings or hand prints
Vacuum bedding or mattresses with HEPA filter vacuum
Vacuum cold air returns and heater vents (not ductwork) with HEPA filter vacuum
Sweep garage or porch
Mop basement floors and/or Vacuum rough basement areas for cobwebs
Wash interior windows
Wash walls from ceiling to floor, or prep walls for painting
Wash wood paneling

VAPURCLEAN ADVANTAGE TASKS:

KITCHEN:
Disinfect floor tile/grout
Disinfect counter tile/grout
Clean fridge
Clean freezer
Clean oven
Clean cabinets
Clean woodwork
Disinfect Garbage Disposals

BATHROOM:
Disinfect floor tile/grout
Disinfect counter tile/grout
Disinfect wall tile/grout
Disinfect shower tile/grout
Disinfect toilets
Clean cabinets
Clean woodwork

GENERAL:
Spot clean of carpets
Draperies
Furniture/Upholsteries
Windows, tracks, and screens
Barbecue Grill (Webber style)


Cleaning for a Reason

03-02-2016

We at Maid Brigade of Portland have been helping to support women undergoing cancer treatments in the Portland Metro area by donating cleanings through Cleaning for a Reason.

Cleaning for a Reason is a nonprofit organization serving the entire United States and Canada. They partner with professional residential maid services who are insured and bonded and perform background checks on their employees. Once a maid service is approved, they are matched with women undergoing treatment for any type of cancer and provide free professional house cleanings. The goal of Cleaning for a Reason is to focus on the home, so women can focus on their health.

Maid Brigade of Portland has been partnered with the foundation for the past four years as a way to give back to our community. Over that time span, we are very proud to have helped a total of 27 Metro Area women, donating over $20,000 in services. We are able to help 2 patients at a time. Once we are paired with a patient, we then offer each of them 4 free cleanings – 1 deep cleaning to help get things caught up and then 1 maintenance cleaning per month for 3 consecutive months to help keep up their home.

Recently Maid Brigade of Portlandwas part of a story featured on KOIN 6 news regarding our involvement with Cleaning For A Reason's wonderful program. “I’ll be able to come home and just relax instead of worrying about cleaning the house,” says Kim Ramsthel, who is going through treatment for stage 4 cancer. You can read more and watch the story here.

We are very pleased to be able to offer such assistance and make a difficult time more manageable for these women in our community. For more information on Cleaning for a Reason, please visit their website at http://www.cleaningforareason.org/.


Green Your Super Bowl Party

02-04-2016

Super Bowl is this coming weekend. Who are you rooting for? All around the country people are planning their parties and get togethers. All the waste can wreak havoc on our landfills and environment. Here are a few easy tips to ‘green’ your Super Bowl festivities!

Forego Standard Invitations

Do not send paper invitations for your party. Instead, opt for online versions such as Evite, or simply send ‘appointments’ from your phone calendar or Outlook.

Carpooling

Expecting a houseful of guests? Encourage them to ride together. Not only will you help impact our carbon footprint, but you will be taking up less parking space on your street.

Make Food At Home

Many party platters come on trays with lids, dips, liners, wraps… that is a lot of trash! Even pizza boxes cannot be recycled if they have too much cheese or grease on them. By making your food at home, you have control over the waste that you create, and save money in the process!

Green Your Beverages

Buy soda and ice in bulk. By getting soda in 2 liters, you are reducing waste. Be sure to recycle the bottles and bags. Buying local is always a good idea, and many Oregon based breweries and wineries are striving to be more sustainable. Try getting your beverages from one of these breweries, which have been greening up their brewing practices. And check out this article on how some local area wineries are doing their part to be more eco-friendly.

Designate Recycling Bins

Be sure to make it easy for guests to recycle. Put out bins marked “plastics”, “cans” or “glass” so that they can easily participate in the program without interrupting their social and game watching time.

Do not use paper products

While clean up may be easier, sending trash bags full of paper products to landfills is the end result. Paper plates stained with grease cannot be recycled. Instead, opt for using real dishes. It only takes a few minutes to load a dishwasher with flatware, and it takes months for one paper plate to decompose.

Avoid Spoiled Leftovers

Plan ahead so you know exactly how much food you will need to prepare. When the game is over, if there are more leftovers that you know your family can consume before they spoil, send some home with guests. Fruits, nuts, and veggies can all be composted.

Hire Maid Brigade of Portland to do your post-party clean up

As Portland first green certified cleaning service, we have pioneered the eco-friendly methods to help return your home to Pre-Super Bowl party shape. Give us a call at 503-492-0197 or visit us online at http://bit.ly/estimate_free for more info! Mention this blog post and receive 10% off!


Green Cleaning

01-11-2016


Some people think of Green Cleaning as using safe chemicals. But it’s actually more than just safe chemicals, it’s using equipment and supplies that protect human health and the environment by removing more allergens and bacteria while leaving less harmful chemicals behind. It’s cleaning for appearance AND health. Maid Brigade of Portland has been Green Clean Certified® since 2007 and are flattered that many other services have followed suit since then.

Green products emit low or no-VOCs. VOCs are chemical ingredients, many of which are toxins and contribute to air pollution, respiratory problems like asthma and allergy attacks, neurological problems and ozone depletion. We make every effort to find products that are both effective and Green Seal certified.Maid Brigade realizes that some areas of the home will need extra time and in some instances a non-green chemical.(For example, hard water or mineral buildup on a glass shower can only be removed with an acid, aka hard-water remover.)Our teams are allowed to use this on a VERY infrequent basis.Once we have removed buildup, we are able to maintain the area on a regular basis with our safe solutions.

But it’s not just about the cleaning chemicals. We use our 4-stage HEPA filter closed canister vacuums to remove all kinds of visual and respiratory irritants, including dirt, dust, pet hair, pollen, dust mites, hair and other microscopic particles.

We use microfiber cloths and mop heads to prevent cross- contamination, minimize our use of cleaning solutions and reduce landfill waste. Cross contamination is when germs are spread from one area of the home to another.Our color-coding system prevents cross-contamination. For example, we only use a red cloth in the bathroom and a yellow cloth in the kitchen.

Maid Brigade established our standard Green Clean Certified® after months of research and development in hundreds of customer homes and consultation with many green cleaning specialists, experts and certifying bodies, such as Green Seal, who’s mission is to identify and promote environmentally responsible products, purchasing and production. Green Seal has established several standards that relate to the cleaning industry including cleaning products, janitorial services and most recently, house cleaning services.

Another certifying body that we have worked with is the Carpet & Rug Institute. The Carpet and Rug Institute is the national trade association representing the carpet and rug industry. CRI‘s Green Label program for vacuum equipment, sets stringent standards for soil removal, dust containment and carpet appearance retention.Our ProTeam® vacuums are certified through the Green Label program. Our vacuums use 4 different types of filters within an airtight canister. This type of system cleans without stirring up dust, unlike a conventional, cloth- bag vacuum. So your air stays cleaner, your furniture, carpeting and drapes collect less dust and our teams can work without breathing unhealthy air.


So why should you care about Green Cleaning? It’s all about the toxins in our daily lives. Since cleaning products get used on a regular basis, we feel that it’s important to be sure we aren’t exposing our customers, or their pets, and employees to harmful toxins.


Green Cleaning Your Crockpot

12-16-2015


Christmas is just around the corner, and like many of you may be, I am planning a huge Christmas morning breakfast. Included in these plans is a yummy - albeit horribly unhealthy – cinnamon roll recipe. I have made it in the past, and it was fantastic. A bonus was that I make this delicious recipe in my crockpot, which made it super easy also. In the past, after the rolls had completed cooking, I filled my crockpot with water and pulled the classic “oh, this needs to soak before I clean it” bit that you know you are also guilty of doing a time or two.

Fast forward to later when I decided to tackle the scrubbing of the pot. To my dismay, after a good 10-15 minutes of scrubbing with a variety of different cloths, brushes, and scrub pads, there was a horrible, hard layer of grime left behind in the bottom few inches of my crockpot that resembled the white hard water deposits you often see in showers. Oh no!

I went with my gut and decided to go with tried and true green cleaning products
to see if I couldn’t take care of my dilemma.

What I Used:

  • HOT water
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar

What I Did:

  • I began by filling the crock pot with hot tap water to just above the layer of grime.
    NOTE: In my case, it wasprobably about 4 cups of water. Depending on the line in your pot, it may need to be more. Adjust the below vinegar and baking soda amounts accordingly.
  • I added about ¼ cup white vinegar to the water.
  • SLOWLY, I dumped about ¼ cup baking soda. I emphasize slowly because it will fizz - remember grade schoolvolcanoes? Dump a little, let the fizz die down and then proceed to dump more.
  • I stirred the concoction with a wooden spoon until the baking soda had
    completely dissolved.
  • I turned my crock pot on high, put a lid on it and let it sit for 4 hours. Every once in a while I checked it to make sure not too much water had managed to evaporate past the lid, but in the end it was probably about ½ inch below the line of grime, so not a lot escaped.
  • Taking a standard kitchen dish scrubber, I scrubbed the grime. CAREFUL!!! Do not let the water splash out, as it is boiling hot and will burn you!!! It did not take much in the way of elbow grease at all. The scummy gunk pretty much flaked off instantly, and only a tiny spot held on, which did take me about a minute to scrub off. NOTE: While scrubbing, you will noticed a distinct white film
    develop where the water splashes on the side of the crockpot. This is just dried baking soda. Do not worry.
  • Wash the crock pot with warm water and dish soap as you normally would.
    This will take care of the above mentioned baking soda film.
  • I turned my crockpot upside down over a towel and air dried it for about 30 minutes.
  • Viola! It was as clean as new! While a bit time consuming in that you have to let it sit for 4 hours, it took me only about 2 minutes to actually scrub it clean and that is a success in my book!

Help for the Holidays

11-24-2015


The holidays officially begin this week with Thanksgiving on Thursday. This time of year is a wonderful chance to spend time with family and friends, building memories along the way. It can, however, be very stressful as well. We have compiled some of the easiest shortcuts to help ease the complications that sometimes accompany your holiday traditions.

Start clean – and this includes your fridge!

Empty your counters of unneeded items – including knickknacks. You will need all the counter space you can get. Also, now is the time to go through your fridge and dispose of anything that you do not need. You will need space in there too!

Disposable Counters

I had never heard this one before – line your counters with plastic wrap! At the end of the day, all you have to do is peel off the wrap and dispose. You have a clean countertop with no scrubbing!

Line it all with Tin Foil

Line all your baking sheets and casserole dishes with foil for the easiest cleanup later on. You can even line your oven with foil to catch any spills or drips.

Use a Turkey Bag

Forget basting! By using a turkey bag, you save yourself most of the stress that will take away from your celebration. It not only cuts down on prep and maintenance while it is in the oven, but clean-up is also much easier!

Pre-make your Mashed Potatoes

Make your mashed potatoes in the morning and keep them hot in a crockpot. Then you do not run any risk of having them done too early, causing them to cool while you wait on other meal items to finish cooking.

Avoid the Gravy Panic

It cannot only be my mom that panics every year at the very end of the meal prep because the gravy is not done. This trick is a life saver --Make the base ahead! In a saucepan, add 1 TBSP cornstarch or 2 TBSP flour to each cup of liquid you'll use. Combine 1 cup of broth into the starch until smooth. Add the remaining broth, bring to a boil, continuing to stir often. Boil 1 minute for cornstarch, or 3 minutes for flour. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. While the turkey rests before carving, take the drippings liquid from the roasting pan. Skim fat, and strain the liquid into a saucepan. Add your base; reheat. Quick lump and stress free gravy!

Line your trash cans

Double or triple lining your trash cans will save you time when doing the clean up. After you toss a bag, there is a fresh one waiting!

Soaking bin

Designate a small tote or even small trash can for soaking. After transferring food from pan to platter, put the dirty pan in the soaking bin filled with warm soapy water. It can be hidden away in a laundry room or under the sink, and the after dinner dishes will be so much easier!

Stain remedies

Lastly, stains happen. Here is a list of easy stain removal remedies for quick reference:

Wine - Red Wine? Pour white wine on the affected area and soak up. Then wash in cold water and hydrogen peroxide. White wine? Wash in cold water and peroxide.

Cranberry Sauce - Put a small amount of isopropyl alcohol on a clean cloth and dab at the stain. This works great on upholstered furniture as the alcohol will dry fast, avoiding water stains.

Oils – Gravy, grease, butter – they tend to splatter when in the midst of cooking. To avoid a stain later, apply a small amount of dish soap as early as possible to keep the oil from setting into the fabric.

Lipstick – Aunt Gertrudes bright lipstick stained your cloth napkins? Never fear. Again, isopropyl alcohol to the rescue. Dab at the stain with a liberal amount on a cotton ball.

Candle wax - Put your iron on the lowest setting, cover the wax with a piece of brown paper bag, put the iron on top of the paper. The iron’s heat will melt the wax, leaving it to be soaked up by the paper.

And do not forget, save yourself the stress of post-holiday clean up by contacting Maid Brigade of Portland. We are happy to come get your home back in to pre- holiday shape! Call 503-492-0197 or visit us at http://bit.ly/estimate_free for an estimate!