What are the tried and true methods of preventing pet fur accumulation on your furniture? (Without buying a bunch of new gadgets.)

Ok, so, we've all been there... You go to plop down on a couch (your couch, our couch, a friend's couch), only to realize, with horrifying immediacy -- "Oh, my, I am now covered with so much pet fur that I might be mistaken for a strange breed of dog or cat." It stinks for you and it stinks for your friends! Nobody wants that, especially not if there's any sort of pet dander allergy in the mix. So what can you do to PREVENT this from happening in the first place? It requires a bit of diligence and weekly upkeep but here are our top picks of the tried-and-true methods of pet fur removal (without buying a bunch of new gadgets)!

  1. Brush your pet regularly

    If your animal is going to be on your couch, on your bed, on your lap etc., you may as well stop that loose pet fur at its source -- their coat. For dogs, the Humane Society recommends that you "brush your dog every couple of days no matter the length of his coat. Sometimes your brushing can have a specific purpose, such as removing hair mats or helping your dog shed his seasonal coat, but most often you'll be doing general-purpose brushing or combing. Choose the right brush."For our cat owners out there, Petly.com recommends brushing "at least 1 or 2 times per day for longhaired breeds and 1 to 3 times per week for the shorthaired cats.Brush more often during a high shedding season."
  2. Take a dry sponge to your furniture

    It's that simple! We're not here to market to you some handy-dandy new gadget, we like the idea of using something you already have in your home. It's as simple as taking a dry sponge to your couch and you can kiss your dander problems goodbye!
    (Disclaimer: We advise you not to actually kiss your dander problems.)
  3. Don't have a sponge laying around, try using a rubber glove!
    Again, in that vein of "things you might have laying around," try using a *slightly* damp rubber glove! We recommend that you spray just a bit of water on the glove rather than running it under a faucet. But that's all there is to it! Run that bad boy over your furniture and grab that fur like there's no tomorrow! (Disclaimer: As far as we know there are plenty of tomorrows!)
  4. If you *really* want to go out and buy something, we recommend these two products:
    We know, we know -- we mentioned NOT going out and buying new gadgets but we've done our research and these two products seem to be the best bet to keep your pet's coat healthy and excess-fur-free! The FURminator and Espree natural pet shampoo. The former is a highly effective & well-reviewed brush claiming to be a "deShedding" tool that "reduces loose hair from shedding [by] up to 90%" The latter is an all-natural, certified organic pet shampoo that, with frequent use, will reduce seasonal and non-seasonal shedding.
  5. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, finally, just keep that pet off the furniture
    Of *course* you want them up there, but... maybe for the sake of your clothes, your guests and the longevity of the furniture... You could consider getting them a bed of their own? Just a thought!


Thanks for joining us, folks! We hope you learned a thing or two and, as always, consider reaching out to us for a quote!

What is the deal with ALL that dust?

Happy spring, friends! It's spring cleaning time and... As you wipe all that dust off your curtains, coffee table, window sill, blinds, lamp shade, picture frames, etc. etc. etc. etc... You're probably wondering, "Where in the HECK did all this dust come from?!" Well we at World Class Cleaning specialize not only in dust removal but also in telling you where it comes from in the first place AND how to prevent its accumulation! Onward, to education!

Paloma I. Beamer, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, and she partnered with NPR to do a neat article on the whole aspect of health and its potential health implications. She says that there are only two places dust can come from: outdoors and indoors. Well that makes perfect sense, but let's see what the article has to say that's a little more in-depth:

"We are an important part of the process of getting the outdoor stuff indoors. We bring it with us when we enter a house — through 'soil particles that come in on your shoes,' says Beamer, or tiny particles suspended in the air when we open the door and walk in.

Then there's the indoor component of dust. 'Like pieces of your carpet fiber or your furniture, your bedding, or anything like that that starts decaying,' she says.

Then there are organic contributors. 'Skin flakes and the dander off your pets, and other insects or bugs that might be in the home.'"

Ok, so if you Google search "dust dead skin" right now you'll most likely find a LOT of articles saying that around 70-80% of dust is comprised of YOUR dead skin! Well, fortunately, we have Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings' opinion on the matter:

"Every hour, you lose over half a million dead skin cells. In fact, eight hundred of the little guys just flaked off while were reading this sentence.
So it seems plausible, right, the common claim that as much as 80 percent of household dust is human skin? There is organic material in dust—all that discarded "you" has to go someplace—but it turns out that there's so much tiny stuff floating around your room (about 10 million particles in every cubic meter of household air!) that skin isn't even a drop in the bucket. In 2009, Paloma Beamer of the University of Arizona catalogued household dust for the journal Environmental Science and Technology, and found that two-thirds of it blows in from outdoors: dirt tracked in on floors, as well as particulate matter from the air. The other third is mostly carpet fiber. Not much skin."

Two things: 1) Recognize that name,Paloma Beamer, again?! Two external sources citing her work, we think it's safe to assume that she is an authority on the matter. 2) Ok, we now know that dust isn't 80% comprised of our dead skin, it's mostly dirt and debris from the outdoors -- but how do we keep it outside and off of our furniture?

Here's the top THREE things you can do to prevent dust accumulation:

  1. Wipe off your feet (or your pets' paws) before entering your home!

    This one is a bit of a no-brainer but also very easy to forget. Unless you're in the habit of wiping off the bottoms of your shoes or your pets' paws before entering a home, this is likely a large source of dust particles.
  2. Replace your air filters every 1-3 months

    We know, we know -- NOBODY changes their HVAC filters that often but that is what is recommended! Try to get pleated air filters -- they're more expensive than the cheap $2 filters but they trap more dust and debris AND last longer.
  3. Vacuum and sweep often

    Also a no-brainer but in terms of indoor contributors to your dust situation, carpets and cushions are a very large contributor. Not only their fibers contributing to your dusty home, but they also act as a giant sponge for a good amount of that dust and debris that ends up coming in your home from the outdoors. Think, every time you step on your carpet or plop down onto your couch, you're launching tiny fibers and dust all around the room.With all this being said, if you'd like a hand with dust removal, please reach out to us! For a quote, please call us at (804) 201-4010 

What are three things to avoid when cleaning a home with children?

Hey, folks! Keeping a home clean is a very important task, but if it comes at the risk of the health of you or your loved ones, then perhaps you need to reapproach how you go about keeping things clean. We're learning new things every day, about how everyday activities like cleaning (or, organization, if you check our previous article), affect our health both physically and mentally.

Curious to learn what you can do to keep a clean home while minimizing the health risk to you or your child? Check out our list below!

Put down that antibacterial soap!
It's really not necessary. From LiveScience.Com
"Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water," Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), said in a statement [on Sept. 2]. "In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long term."

With all this in mind just stick to lathering up with hot soap and water! Also, avoid antibacterial wipes because the FDA "ban list" of potentially harmful antibacterial agents applies to soaps and not things like wipes or sprays.

For your young ones, teach them to frequently wash their hands with plain soap and water. This will keep them healthier wherever they are -- be it school, daycare, or anywhere else.

Avoid Residues
To quote Cleaning and Maintenace Management:
"A chemical residue, quite simply, is matter that is left on a surface after evaporation or insufficient rinsing occurs.

'Immediately after use in surface cleaning, and independent of whatever method is used to apply them, detergent molecules remain chemically unchanged,' says Dr. Jay Glasel, managing member and founder of Global Scientific Consulting LLC. 'However, a small but finite amount of detergent remains on the surface. Detergents are then either rinsed off the surface being cleaned or — in all too many cases — remain as residue on the surface. [...] The more benign the chemistry you are using, the safer the residue that is left behind will be; the more toxic the chemistry is, the more harmful the residue will be." Now... Keep in mind that at World Class Cleaning, we're all about cleaning GREEN! With your young one crawling, toddling, and running across all these surfaces... it might be best to minimize chemical residue buildup.

Minimize your use of aerosol sprays
Recent research has shown that households that use aerosol sprays far more often than others tend to experience adverse consequences as a result. From BBC.com: "In homes where air fresheners - including sticks, sprays and aerosols - were used every day rather than once a week, 32% more babies had diarrhea.

The babies were also more likely to experience earache." And it's not just the wee ones, the article goes on, "these mothers who used air fresheners and aerosols daily had nearly 10% more headaches and were about 26% more likely to experience depression." Honestly... You don't need aerosol ANYTHING! Air freshener? How about essential oils and a diffuser?


Well... there you have it, folks! Thanks for joining us, and we hope you learned a thing or two. And remember, for a quote, please call us at (804) 201-4010!

What are six advantages of having a clean and organized home?

If you can’t feel comfortable in your own home, where *can* you?
While we at World Class Cleaning are happy to come in and tidy up for you... what is something that you can do to feel good about your home and, as a result, feel good about yourself?

Two words, six syllables: DE-CLUTTER and ORGANIZE!

Now, just seeing those words in all caps “DE-CLUTTER” and “ORGANIZE” might stress you out… But don’t get stressed! To put things into perspective, you are not alone. According to a study conducted by UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF), “we are living in the most materially rich society in global history, with light years more possessions per average family than any preceding society.” While you may feel simultaneously comforted and overwhelmed to be in such good company, the fact that you’re even reading this article about organization likely puts you ahead of the curve in terms of keeping your head above water in our material-rich society.

So what’s the good news? Well, now that you’re considering starting down this path of ordering one’s household, you should know that there is a veritable cornucopia of benefits afforded to those who take the time to organize their home.


    • Better organization, better sleep

      To paraphrase the Sleep Foundation's Bedroom Poll:
      "It’s worth noting that those who make their beds every day or almost every day are more likely [...] to say they get a good night’s sleep every day or almost every day." 19% more likely, to be exact. We'll wager you'll be more inclined to make your bed in the morning if you wake up to a clean and organized bedroom! It's not just the "made bed," though, it's being able to sleep better because you're less distracted by numerous things you want (or need) to organize.


    • Clean Home, Clean Eating
      According to a study conducted by  Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab, "[C]luttered kitchens are caloric kitchens. When stressed out females were asked to wait for another person in a messy kitchen -- with newspapers on the table, dishes in the sink, and the phone ringing – they ate twice as many cookies compared to women in the same kitchen when it was organized and quiet. In total they ate 53 more calories from cookies in 10 minutes time."
      Get that kitchen organized!


    • You'll be more diligent about sticking to your workouts
      It starts with an organized home, after which you'll be organizing all sorts of things! For exmaple, PsychologyToday.com cites this study published in the Journal of Obesity, wonderfully entitled, "Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies to Increase the Adherence to Exercise in the Management of Obesity." They state, "people who carefully plan their exercise regimen, set goals and regularly record their progress are more likely to keep up an exercise program than people who show up at the gym without a clear plan in mind." It's time to get organized!


    • It will boost your productivity

      MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller states that we are "not wired to multitask well... when people think they're multitasking, they're actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there's a cognitive cost." Now... Imagine that you are trying to get something done around the house, and every time you start on a task you get distracted by that pile of knick-knacks you need to sort through, or that pile of clean laundry you've been meaning to put away for 72 hours -- that stuff takes its toll!


    • Stronger relationships

      Check out this article "Dirty dishes and divorces" from Dailymail.com. It states that "it has been revealed that three in ten divorcing UK couples blame arguments over the washing up and their other halves not pulling their weight around the house for the demise of their relationships."


    • Reduces stress and depression
      According to a study from Huffpost.com, "Worrying my home isn't clean or organized enough" is one of the FIVE most common stress triggers. As we stated in the beginning, "If you can’t feel comfortable in your own home, where *can* you?"


With all that being said, don't let all this new information stress you out. Just take it slow and steady, but also... get to it! You'll love your more organized, more productive, happier & healthier life! If you need a hand getting your home to a point where it's clean and ready to get to organizin', don't hesitate to reach out to us!

Top Ten Ways to Pest-Proof Your Home Without Using Toxic Chemicals

Spring is almost upon us! According to the Smithsonian Institute, "At any time, it is estimated that there are some 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) individual insects alive." And, according to logic, SOME of those ten quintillion insects are likely to end up in your home. What are some bonafide, non-toxic, tried-and-true methods to keep those critters outside your home and off your kitchen counter? Check out this list to find out!

Top Ten Ways to Pest-Proof Your Home Without Using Toxic Chemicals

1. Repair and/or Seal Openings
Insects can *definitely* gain access through cracks like these
      It's about to be really nice outside so why not spend some time perambulating 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.

2. Don't spray flies -- make a homemade fly trap
Sorry, fruit flies!
     Having fruit flies in some of these old Richmond homes seems almost an inevitability during warm spring/summer weather. Instead of spraying tons of toxic chemicals in the air and on the surfaces where you prepare food, why not make your own fly trap?
Three good examples:
a. Add a few drops of dish soap to a shallow glass of apple cider vinegar. Flies will be attracted to the vinegar but that bit of soap will prevent them from extricating themselves from their soapy situation.
b. Got an overripe banana? Make banana bread! OR.. mash it up in a jar and cover that with plastic wrap. Flies will fly in... they will not fly out.
c. Or instead of bananas, use some old red wine in a jar!

3. Repel Ants Naturally
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah♫
     Ants use pheromone trails to follow one another to sources of food so why not clean up those "scent trails" 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!

4. Move Firewood Away from your Home
Your stack of firewood -- pop. 1,000,000 ants
     Maybe you have a nice backyard firepit you use in the fall and winter. And maybe you keep some firewood nice and dry on your back porch or otherwise near your house -- well... DON'T! These 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.

5. Controversial Suggestion -- LEAVE THE SPIDERS ALONE
Macro Jumping Spider Insect Cute Eyes Spider
You wanna step on me?!
     Why spray or otherwise use toxic chemicals to remove insects and spiders when you could just leave the latter alone and allow them to take care of the former? Is it because you're scare 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)!

6. Marvel at Mosquito Mitigation
Female aedes albopictus mosquito insect close up detailed macro
Thanks for leaving that backyard kiddie pool filled with stagnant water all summer long! Bzz
     If you have any standing pools of water around the exterior of your home, turn them over -- right now. It's about to be prime mosquito breeding time and you'll be doing yourself and your neighbor a favor by overturning that empty trashbin filling with water or that empty, rusting paint can that screams "Mate in me, mosquitoes!" Won't you be a good neighbor?

Prime example of a kitchen that is NOT a "bug buffet"
     After you prepare food wipe all surfaces (including the stovetop) with a wet, soapy sponge and give the kitchen floor a quick sweep. It takes forty-five seconds and could save yourself a world of trouble down the road. If you need a hand getting your kitchen to a good "maintenance point," I hear World Class Cleaning does a HECK of a job tidying up.

8. You keep *your* eating area clean -- what about your pets'?
Obama family pets Bo, left, and Sunny sit at a table in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 10, 2014. The table settings will be used at the State Dinner for President Franois Hollande of France. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Is your pet's dining area as clean and tidy as the Obamas' was?
     We haven't invented a way to get pets to clean up after themselves (yet), so be sure to clean up after them to prevent that pet kibble from attracting ants or even worse... roaches (gasp!).

9. Get Your House DRY
If this is what it looks like inside your bathroom cabinet, you may have some uninvited guests
     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!

10. Try Some of these All-Natural Old School Remedies
A good example of a tried-and-true classic
     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."

As always, consider bringing World Class Cleaning into your home to take care of the bulk of your home cleaning solutions, this will give you plenty of time to put all of these suggestions into practice!