The first day of spring is March 20, 2018 and that is right around the corner! Spring brings beautiful warm weather but spring can also bring bugs… into your home. The ants are waking up and the ants might be marching one by one straight into your house. Bugs, of course, are not an ideal situation to have in the home but we at World Class Cleaning think that spraying insecticides on the surfaces of your home and into the air you breathe is equally less-than-ideal — perhaps worse than the bugs. So we’ve compiled 5 nontoxic methods of pest prevention. Let’s check ’em out!
- Repair or seal openings
It’s about to be really nice outside so why not spend some time patrolling the perimeter of your home in search of any sort of opening that pests can use to gain access? Look out for cracks and gaps in brick and cement and consider patching these yourself or hiring somebody to do it for you. The upside? You may be saving yourself heating/cooling costs in the long run, especially if any of these holes prove to be particularly drafty. Better energy efficiency means reduced carbon footprint, too! Also consider adding or repairing screens in windows and adding “sweeps” to the undersides of your exterior doors.
- Repel ants naturally
Ants use pheromone trails to follow one another to sources of food so why not clean up those “scent trails?” But not with toxic sprays or solutions but instead with something simple like soapy water or white vinegar. You can even try using spices that deter ants such as turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, mint, and red chili powder. Yum!
- Move firewood away from your home
Maybe you have a nice backyard firepit you use in the fall and winter; or a fireplace or even a wood stove inside your home. And maybe you keep some firewood nice and dry on your back porch or otherwise near your house during those cold months — well… once it warms up, move that firewood! Those piles of dry wood are the PERFECT home for any number of insects. The closer this Insect Empire is to your home, the more likely they are to end up next to you when you sit down to dinner.
- Controversial suggestion — leave those spiders alone!
You could jettison spray-poisons all around the air of your home to remove insects & spiders or instead you could leave the latter alone and allow them to take care of the former for you. If you’re afraid of spiders, is it because you’re scared of spider bites? From LiveScience.com: “Most so-called “spider bites” are not actually spider bites, according to researchers and several recent studies. Instead, “spider bites” are more likely to be bites or stings from other arthropods such as fleas, skin reactions to chemicals or infections, said Chris Buddle, an arachnologist at McGill University in Montreal.” Spiders in your house? Leave ’em alone and let them dine on the blood of your enemies (pest insects, that is)!
- Get your house DRY
Wet, damp surfaces –especially wooden surfaces– are the perfect environment for insects to live and breed. Check your pipes and faucets for leaks and get on the road to a DRY home!
- Try some of these all-natural, old school homemade remedies
From lifehacker.com: “A mix of peppermint oil and white vinegar is a solid go-to for repelling several pests, especially spiders. But research from Auburn University suggests the mix is good for the peskiest of pests too. To make your own cockroach deterrent spray, Brittney Morgan at Apartment Therapy recommends dropping 10 drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle willed with two parts water, one part white vinegar. Spritz it around cupboards, under the sink, in the bathroom, and anywhere else that roaches might want to hang out. You can also use straight peppermint oil to wipe down countertops. Not only will it keep pests away, it’ll smell nice too.”
Well, there you have it! We hope you’ve learned a thing or two and we want to wish you a happy-almost-spring! If you’re interested in enjoying the sunshine instead of spring cleaning, give us a call and let us do the cleaning for you!
When World Class Cleaning Services is finished cleaning your house and we’re walking out your front door, we want your home to be a) completely spotless and b) completely free of toxic fumes and harmful chemical residues.
We’re passionate about the natural cleaning products that we make and use, and there are good reasons for that passion! We’ve compiled for you a quick list of some of our reasons, let’s check them out.
- There is no petroleum in natural-based cleaners! You’ll feel better about minimizing your impact to global warming.
- Fewer antibacterial cleaners means fewer “super bacteria” resistant to antibiotics. The FDA now says that washing with antibacterial soaps is no better than using traditional soap. Triclosan, a common antibacterial agent, potentially messes with your thyroid as well as your hormonal system.
- With natural cleaners you don’t have to worry about corrosive substances; or inhaling toxic, combustible fumes. Nor do you have to worry about getting any of it on your skin.
- Less toxic cleaning chemicals down the drain means less pollution in our waterways — think about Nemo!
- Go green and alleviate ASTHMA! According to WebMD, use of toxic cleaners can increase the risk of children developing asthma.
There you have it, folks. Just a quick list of some of our favorite reasons to go green with your clean! Consider giving us a call and we’ll make your home shine without any of the harmful side effects of harsh, environmentally-unfriendly chemical cleaners.
This Virginia weather has gone from frigid to somewhat agreeable to frigid to “Hey, it’s not so bad out today!” And it will certainly keep flip-flopping! But when those frigid temps hit, and the evenings are in the single digits Fahrenheit, is your home up to snuff? Oftentimes strong drafts can seep in through improperly sealed doors and windows — this can lead to an increase in your home heating costs as your HVAC system tries to keep up with those drafts. We’ve got five quick n’ easy fixes for those pesky drafts. Let’s check ’em out!
- Check those hinges
Folks this first one is so easy! Check those hinges! A loose hinge causing your door to hang at a slight angle could be all it takes to allow that frigid arctic wind to seep into your home.
- Replace or add weatherstripping
Weatherstripping comes in myriad forms, but most –if not all– of it is fairly easy to install. The picture above beautifully illustrates the wonder of weatherstripping — it obviously seals the draft allowed in through that space between the door and the door casing; but it also provides a nice, clean look! If this is an option you’re interested in pursuing, but are uncertain how to get started, check out this video from Today’s Homeowner.
- Install a sweep
The basic steps are simple:
- Measure door width.
- Mark and cut to length (if necessary) the new door sweep.
- Drill pilot holes.
- Loosely attach.
- Tighten screws.
Bada-bing, bada-boom! The sweep covers that gap left between your door and its threshold or sill. If you don’t have a threshold running across the entryway of your exterior doors, that is also something to consider adding. Fun fact: door thresholds are called “door saddles” in the U.K. They’re so wacky!
- Not as elegant but highly effective: window film
Stretch the film across the windows and casing, use a blow drier to shrink-seal that film over your windows, remove film come springtime. For the larger windows get somebody to give you a hand hanging the film! And last, but certainly not least:
- Invest in insulated curtains
Thermal curtains feature a layer of acrylic foam between the double or triple layers of fabric to provide insulation, making these curtains ideal for winter months or drafty windows. And if you like to “sleep in”: thermal curtains can also dampen sound and block out sunlight. Furthermore, they’ll prevent interior “heat gain” from all that sunshine you’ll be getting come summertime. As a matter of fact, all of these tips work for keeping cool air in.
Well, that about wraps it up, folks. Like we told you, all of these tips are eezy-peezy! And with all of that money you’ll be saving on your home heating (and summertime cooling!), this might give you a good excuse to give us a call — we’ll do the cleaning while you take back your weekends!
We’re all about your home being as beautiful, clean, and organized as it can be. While we’re in your home, let us do the cleaning; but in our downtime we’re researching and writing articles like these to make your home shine. A well planned-out home office can be a bastion of productivity and efficiency. It can also be a relaxing space where you also happen to get a lot of stuff done. Trying to reach that ideal? Let’s get to it!
- Location, location, location
When setting up that office try to give yourself as much wiggle room as possible! Obviously an office like that pictured above is out of a lot of people’s budget, but the amount of space in that bad boy is stunning! If you’re not feeling crammed and squeezed into your work space you’ll surely feel more relaxed and, as a result, probably get a lot more done.
- A GREAT chair
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in that office, sitting, then you’ll need a good chair! Check out these reviews from GearPatrol.com, their top pick for “Best Budget Chair” is “The Alera Elusion” From Gear Patrol:”[This chair] could be misconstrued as another simple office chair — that is, until you sit in it. The mesh back panel offers supreme comfort and allows for great breathability. The seat cushion features a waterfall edge designed to eliminate pressure on the legs. The Elusion is also infinitely adjustable and even offers forward tilt.”
- A nice view
Ok, ok, we’ll admit — we were being a little cheeky including this image as our potential “nice view,” as if this is what you could be looking at outside your window. But, the advice remains the same: try to set up your office in a room with a window, ideally one with a nice view of the natural landscape. Check out this article from the Harvard Business Review (yeah, that Harvard): “Research has found that gazing at something green — through a window, on a walk outside, or even on a screen saver — can help improve attention and performance in the workplace. Attention restoration theory suggests that natural environments have restorative benefits for us. Because nature captures our attention without requiring us to focus on it, looking at natural environments lets us replenish our stores of attention control.”
- Plenty of light
This tip and our next one fall directly in line with our “nice view” suggestion. From the “Sustainability” program at NC State University, “Natural light leads to higher productivity:
A study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology found that employees working in natural light recorded higher levels of energy than those working under artificial light. Another study showed 40 percent higher sales at checkout counters located beneath skylights. This data confirms what many studies have shown: natural light leads to enhanced productivity.”
- Get a dang plant!
Last but not least, something we could all use more of in our lives — plants! From Rodale’s Organic Life, “In addition to perceived improvements in air quality, concentration, and workplace satisfaction, the researchers found that productivity increased 15 percent. They found that employees with plants in the office reported being more physically, cognitively, and emotionally involved in their work.” Does it get any better than that?!
To round things out we have here a graphic featuring The NASA Guide to Air-Filtering Houseplants, courtesy of LovetheGarden.com. Check it out! Thanks for joining us, and after you’ve got your office all set up, feel free to give us call to help keep it clean!
Happy new year, folks! At the time of writing this article (with windchill) it is currently a balmy TWO degrees in Richmond, VA. That being said, it is a crucial time of year to be wearing all the winter gear you can muster, especially boots! But what happens when you, or your child, inadvertently get those bad boys wet? Maybe you got some snow inside them, maybe your child stepped in a giant semi-frozen puddle, whatever the case… We’ve done the research to save you some time, check it out!
- First, something to avoid: high heat
Don’t be tempted to blast a hair drier set at high heat inside those boots! Similarly, don’t put them over a floor register or in front of your heater. All of that high heat will dry your footwear quickly, but it can also greatly reduce their lifespan. All of that dry heat quickly leads to leather and other fabrics shrinking and pulling away from the rest of the shoe, and, at the same time, this method will also weaken the glue holding your footwear together — a brutal combination! Now let’s get to what you should do.
- Use a fan
Airflow is the name of the game when it comes to effectively drying things! This method pictured actually uses a couple of “S” hooks to hang the lace-less footwear from the fan. This method may not work with the bigger, bulkier boots — but you can still set the footwear down and aim the fan toward the wet boots. If you’re able to hang the shoes or boots from you fan, be sure to place a towel underneath everything because there will be a good amount of dripping water as everything dries!
- Use balled-up newspaper
The tried-and-true method of balled-up newspaper! In this writer’s opinion, the best way to dry footwear with this method is to loosely ball up newspaper and pack it into your boots loosely enough that there is still some airflow. Really tightly-packed newspaper won’t leave much room for osmosis to work its magic, and your boots will take way too long to dry! If you’re doing things right, the “newspaper method” will work fairly quickly and you’ll need to be changing newspaper frequently until everything’s dry. It sounds like a lot of work, true, but avoiding wet feet in the winter; or stinky, mildew-y footwear is worth all the work!
- Consider purchasing a boot dryer
Consider investing in a boot dryer! If drying boots and shoes is a hassle you run into often, especially if you have a lot of young ones running around outdoors, consider making this investment. Boot dryers on major retail websites like Amazon run about $35, and you can even get much smaller insertable boot dryers — these cost even less and pack away well enough when not needed. These work their major at a very even, low heat — reducing the chances of damaging your footwear in the name of dry feet.
There you have it, folks! We hope you can put this wisdom to good use and keep feet (and footwear!) clean, dry, and odor-free. Stay warm and dry out there this winter, and if you’d like to spend more time relaxing and less time cleaning: consider giving us a call!