Is Household and Office Mold Affecting Your Skin?

Most of the time, mold is a naturally-occurring growth in the environment that does little harm to humans.

We throw out moldy bread and scrub mold when it appears, but often, mold spores may exist that are not visible to the naked eye.

However, there are a few people whose health can be affected by exposure to mold. Some people may be particularly sensitive or allergic to mold.

In other cases, people who have a suppressed immune system due to conditions like being HIV-positive, having had an organ transplant or
being on certain types of medication might be susceptible to mold.

In some cases, mold can grow on the skin. Most people have heard of athlete’s foot. This is a bacterial or fungal infection, but mold can complicate it. There are other types of skin infections, including some kinds of eczema, that are caused by mold. Mold can also enter the
lymph glands and, on occasion, may affect other parts of the body in an immunocompromised individual.

Fortunately, mold in the environment can be controlled with substances such as vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

Trick to Keep Your Floors and House Cleaner

maids-cleaning-house

My name is Michael and I’ve been in the housekeeping business for 26 years. I teach pros the tricks of the trade. My tips are for teaching purposes only. Hope this helps.

Customers often complain that their floors gets dirty “way to fast”. I always recommend they (and you) use a quality “walk off mat” commonly known as a “rug” to capture up to 80% of the dirt that is tracked into your house.

Use a rug that allows as many foot falls as is reasonable. 4 foot falls is a good start, but if you can’t work in that size rug, then use a rug outside the door and a rug inside. Make sure every entrance is covered by a rug. Keep those rugs CLEAN. (little known fact: a rug can hold “and hide” it own weight in dirt) so clean it often. Periodically turn the rug upside down and vacuum across the back of the rug with the vacuum beater bar. You will shake the dirt out that has escaped deep into the rug. Then, vacuum up the dirt you have dislodged, and place the rug back in it spot.

Want to see a professional dirt collection system in place? Well, slow down when you enter a Sams Club, Walmart, or other retailer, and notice how they have set up their entrances to trap dirt before it gets into the store. It’s a LOT EASIER to clean a small entrance than a whole store.

Proper Time for House Cleaning

house-fall-cleaning

My disclosure: Hi, I’m Michael and I’ve been in the cleaning business for 26 years. I teach professionals how to clean. Here are my tips.

Many clients still cling to the “Spring Cleaning” concept, but when we examine the purpose of house cleaning, it gives pause for thought.

Our homes used to be heated by wood and/or coal, both very dirty fuels. So when weather permitted (SPRING), house cleaning became a major issue; and with the dirty fuels, everything on the inside of the house needed a good scrubbing and airing out.

But, with modern clean heat systems, we no longer need SPRING cleaning. We need FALL cleaning, and here’s why.

As soon as nice weather permits, windows fly open, doors fly open and the outdoors comes inside as pollen, dust, and mold spores. So Fall is now the proper time to CLEAN the house for Winter, when doors and windows will remain shut.

Hope this helps!

Great rug cleaning tip

My Disclaimer: I am Michael. I’ve been in the cleaning industry for 26 years. My tips are for educational purposes only. These are tips and techniques that we, the professionals use.

A rug can hold it’s own weight in dirt!!! Regular cleaning is better than “heroic” measures, but sometimes, the rug just has so much dirt in the fiber that your vacuum will no longer pick it up. SO, …………

TURN THE RUG OVER (BACKING SIDE UP). NOW RUN THE BEATER BAR ATTACHMENT OVER THE BACKING SEVERAL TIMES. MOVE THE RUG, “LOOK AT ALL THE DIRT YOU DISLODGED”!! CLEAN DIRT OFF THE FLOOR, FLIP THE RUG, VACUUM THE RUG.

If this helps………LIKE US

Free tips available on our website http://www.designermaid.net

Watch professionals work http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LaEF_sCFUo

Watch review of our professional steam equip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NyAk55YpRI

5 GREAT TIPS from the PROS

(Asheville/Hendersonville/Johnson City)

5-great-cleaning-tips

My Disclaimer: These are things I have TAUGHT for the last 26 years. Hope it helps.

PROFESSIONALS are TAUGHT that little changes save big time. For example, if you use a 50′ 16 gauge cord on your vacuum. you can cut 20% off vacuuming time. So here are 5 GREAT TIPS anyone can use to make their cleaning more efficient.

  1. Obviously the first tip is, borrow a 50′ cord from the garage and plug into the center of the house. Now you can vacuum from one end of the house to the other end without changing your plug in spot. Have a 2 story house? Do the same thing in the center of your 2nd story.Professionals use a term called “flyback”. When you dust shelves (for example) , the towel does not capture all the dust. Some of it “flies back” onto a lower shelf. Most cleaners attempt to capture all dust and debris in the towel and this is really time consuming. NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT try to capture everything in a towel. Let most of the dust/debris fall on the floor….we’ll deal with that in a minute.
  2. Identify a starting spot in each room and work LEFT TO RIGHT
  3. TOP TO BOTTOM
  4. BACK TO FRONT (as in…from back of the shelf to front of shelf) and make only 1 trip around the room. Why left to right? Great question. 90% of people are RIGHT Hand Dominant in the US. I really don’t care if you work RIGHT TO LEFT or LEFT TO RIGHT, but professionals are TAUGHT to put their BEST worker out front. SO if you are RIGHT dominant, face the wall and work to your right, cleaning from as high as you can reach, all the way down to the baseboard. Now take a step to the RIGHT and do it again. Remember, 1 trip around the room and put most of the dust/debris on the floor.
  5. So, you’ve worked around each room, and if you have worked the program correctly, most of the dust/debris fell to the floor. PERFECT! Now your life is going to get very uncomplicated; vacuum and mop the floor.In homes, vacuuming and mopping can account for 50% of the cleaning time. So, think about it……..you’re going to vacuum and mop anyway. Why try to meticulously capture every particle of dust in a towel (time consuming) when you can “put it on the floor” and take care of it easily with your vacuum and mop?

Hope this helps!

Top 5 Tips on Modern Spring Cleaning

(Hendersonville / Asheville)

lady-bug-cleaning

Who has the time, or the desire to do the old fashioned spring

cleaning? The good news is, thanks to cleaner heating and better filtration, homes no longer

need this degree of scrubbing. So, let’s look at “modern Spring Cleaning”!

1) clean dingy light globes in the dishwasher; handwash delicate glass globes in the sink

2) clean STAINLESS MESH filter hood screens in the dishwasher (NOTE!!!! never put charcoal vent filters in dishwasher, replace these filters)

3) shake that drape then vacuum with upholstery tool

4) clean carpet and rugs professionally and regularly

5) vapor clean the mattress and vac to freshen mattress and kill dust mites

Now here are some little known homeowner facts:

  • Regular vacuuming is more important than interim deep cleaning
  • Cleaning for APPEARANCE removes visible soil; Cleaning for HEALTH removes micro and bio contaminates
  • Carpet can hold it’s own weight in hidden dirt
  • Vacuuming is 3x more effective cleaning hardwood than dustmopping
  • A human hair is 70 microns; Pollen 20 microns; below 20 microns is invisible to us

Hope this helps!

EMPLOYEE or 1099 – You Must Know the Difference

IRS

(Hendersonville / Asheville)

DISCLAIMER: My 26 years of experience says, there are quality individual housekeepers out there. I should know…….I’ve trained some of them. However, this message strictly addresses the ramifications of 1099 vs employee, and not the quality of work!

Everyone knows that the IRS does not mess around when it comes to “the money”, and this year, one focus of their scrutiny is the cleaning industry. So let’s just jump into this mess! remember….If it looks like a DUCK, walks like a DUCK, Quacks like a DUCK,….it’s a DUCK!

1099 Example: you hire a plumber to fix a leaky water line in your home…….1099. Why?? Simple.. plumber tells you when they will arrive, brings his / her own tools, has own general liability insurance, workers comp insurance, assesses the problem, gets the correct parts, takes a lunch break, fixes the problem, cleans up (hopefully), gives you a bill, takes another break (just a little plumber humor), leaves. 1099 (you contributed nothing except payment)……..1099, Your tax obligation is zero -0-. You contracted a professional service.

W-2 Example: you hire an individual housekeeper to clean your home……part-time employee. Why! You control the day they come? You control the time? (but I gave them a key….ok, so if you gave a key, you can also take key back, you control…see duck quote above); You control the work area; You control the acceptable quality of work; You control the chemicals to use (but they bring their own chemicals…..ok, and you’ve never said….use my Murphy’s on the floor…duck quote above); You control the tools to use (use my vacuum, use my towels, use my duster….duck quote above). If they have their own workers comp and general liability, that is huge and helps tip the scale to 1099)…….. but WITHOUT insurance and control, This is definitely your EMPLOYEE.

NO-ONE LIKES THE IRS:

If you deal with a business: the business carries the insurance and the employees belong to them

If you hire A housekeeper: this is YOUR EMPLOYEE. YOU are required by IRS to pay all employer taxes and file all required monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports (remember duck quote).

Hope this helps!

5 MUSTS when hiring an individual housekeeper

I do not recommend that you hire an individual housekeeper, but if you do, I am going to give you my 5 MUSTS. These are the same steps that we use to professionally screen potential employees and apprentices.

#1) Get a completed application.

#2) Get a COPY (don’t just write it down) of the Drivers License and Social Security card.

#3) When you get that completed application, CALL the references and make notes.

#4) Run a Complete BACKGROUND check.

#5) Get copy of their Workers Comp insurance and General Liability Insurance as well as their agent’s contact information.

Michael Wells
Director Of Marketing and Sales

WHY BLEACH WON’T KILL MOLD

Mold growth commonly occurs in your bathroom, particularly on the grout or caulking around your shower. Mold removal is not easy, and while there are some products on the market that remove mold without the use of harsh chemicals, most people still mistakenly reach for the bleach.

The inherent problem with using bleach is that bleach most often does NOT kill mold. It does however do a fantastic job of bleaching mold white, so that it blends right in with your grout and caulk. Just because it has a new color doesn’t mean it’s still not there growing. Steam cleaners actually kill mold. The high temperatures kill mold while the bristles of brush attachments can help remove it from cracks and hard to reach places. And, because steam actually penetrates the pores of the surface you are cleaning, it cleans deep to kill and remove mold, instead of just bleaching the surface.

If you are not familiar with steam cleaning, the concept of cleaning with just water and heat may seem a bit strange, but the use of a quality steam cleaner is a great way for your health.

Pro Tips on How to Clean Your Home the Right way

Worried About Stains Ruining Your Holiday? Here Are Your Solutions!

written by: mwaita2001

Picture this; you are having the time of your life as you enjoy every moment at the party, when all over sudden you trip, or somebody bumps into you making you spill on your favorite party attire. Your once perfect reindeer pants are completely stained.

Not only are your clothes ruined, but you also turn from being the life of the party into a sulky and gloomy person. Don’t worry though, a stain should not ruin your fun, or make you miserable. With the following stain removal tricks, you will be able to handle any type of stain easily and conveniently.

Strain Pre-treater (remover)

A mixture of 2 portions of hydrogen peroxide to 1 part soap dish will provide you with a handy stain remover. With this solution, you will be able to treat the stain instantly and on site.

In case the stain proves difficult, you may soak the stained garment in water mixed with OXY Clean (Oxygen powder) for about one hour or overnight. Come the next morning, the stain will be all gone. However, it might take a number of washes to completely get rid of a stubborn stain. Unlike bleaches containing chlorine, oxygen powder is quite safe and effective on the fabric. Nonetheless, you should always take caution when removing stains from colored fabric.

Cranberry Sauce Stain Removal

Most of us just love cranberry sauce. Its rich content, red color and deliciousness simply drives our taste buds wild. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of cranberry stain. It is quite hard to remove a stain caused by the sauce. The process of removing the stain is as follows:

Fabric

Start by rinsing the fabric in cold water. Hot water makes the stain adhere more to the fabric and this is the last thing you want to happen. Mix one teaspoon of liquid detergent used for laundry, one teaspoon of white vinegar and some cold water. Soak the garment for about 15 minutes. Later on, rinse with cold water.

Alternatively, you may also use laundry products made from enzymes. The products include Pink solution, or Oxiclean. Using a sponge soaked in rubbing alcohol can also be applied on the stain. But, you should thoroughly rinse the fabric before final washing.

Upholstery

Mix one cup of rubbing alcohol, and one tablespoon white vinegar. Sponge the stain with the alcohol-vinegar solution using a white clean piece of cloth. Blot the stained area until all liquid is absorbed. Repeat the process over and over until the blemish disappears. Once the stain is gone, dip a clean cloth in cold water and clean the area. Blot the region till it dries.

Carpet

You can make a carpet stain removal solution by mixing two cups cold water with one-tablespoon dish washing soap. Sponge the area with the solution using a clean white piece of cloth. Blot the stains area till it dries. Repeat the process until the stain is completely removed. Finally, sponge the area with cold water to remove the stain removal solution and dry the area by blotting with a clean cloth. You may also use enzyme pretreater such as Pink solution or Oxiclean to remove remnants of cranberry sauce. Always test the solution on a small region, and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s advice.

Getting Rid Of Gravy Stains

Many meals are never complete without gravy. Unfortunately, gravy always has a way of finding itself on pants, carpets, and upholstery. The stain removal process is as follows:

Fabric

Begin by removing any excess stain. Follow up by using Oxiclean or any other enzyme stain remover to pre-treat the area. After removing the stain, wash the area and rinse using cold clean water. Prior to using the stain pretreater, always read the manufacturer’s instructions, and also test the solvent on a small area.

Upholstery

Scrape off as much gravy as you can. Sprinkle corn starch or baking powder on the region and let it stand for about 15 minutes. Use a fabric brush to clean the area. Sponge the stain using a clean cloth soaked in dry cleaning agent. Blot the region to absorb the solvent. Repeat the procedure until the stain disappears.

Carpet

The procedure for stain removal on carpets is similar to that used on upholstery. You only have to repeat the process until the stain disappears, or the cloth no longer absorbs the solvent. For stubborn stains, mix one tablespoon dish soap, two cups warm water, and one tablespoon white vinegar. Use the solution to sponge the stain and later blot it. Do this until no more solvent is being absorbed or the stain disappears. Finish off by sponging the stained area with cold water and blotting it to dry.

Removal of Red Wine Stain

Red wine makes every party go down well. The same way it brings out the fun is also the same way it will standout on fabric, upholstery, or carpet. Do not worry though, with the following stain removal secrets, red wine stain will be no match for a good time.

Fabric

Remove excess wine spill with paper towels immediately. Dust salt on the spot to stop the wine from setting. Lift of the red wine by pouring club soda. Soak up as much solvent as you can with a cloth. Spray with pre-treater and launder following manufacturer’s advice. You can use bleach on white fabric.

Upholstery

Similar to other stains, you start by blotting as much liquid as you can. Mix 2 cups cold water with 1 tablespoon dish washing soap. Soak a clean white cloth and sponge the area. Blot to remove the stain. Keep doing this till no more solvent is being absorbed, or until the stain is gone. After the stain disappears, sponge the area with a clean white cloth dipped in cold water and blot it to dry.

Carpet

Blot as much red wine as you can. Soak a clean cloth dipped in plain water to sponge the stain and blot it. Alternatively, you can use a solution made up of 2 cups warm water, one tablespoon white vinegar, and 1-tablespoon dish washing soap. Sponge and blot the area sparingly until the stain is removed. Finish up by sponging with cold water and blotting it dry.

I believe you are now well armed with the right information. You can go ahead and enjoy yourself, for no stain can stand in your way!