6 Common Cleaning Mistakes That Make Your House Dirtier


Keeping your home clean requires (unfortunately) TIME and EFFORT. Now, the last thing we would want is your time and effort going to waste through self-defeat actions that, sadly enough, are quite common. Instead, wisen up with these tips from White Glove Elite founder Jim Ireland. Identify these 6 mistakes and their tried-and-tested solutions so you can beat the dirt instead of it of it beating your best intentions.

Mop & Bucket?:  Even the most progressive homeowners are not in favor of the re-distribution of dirt, which is all you are doing as soon as you rinse that dirty mop in your bucket of cleaning solution.  Solution: Dilute your floor cleaner in a spray-bottle and spray-mop, rinsing your mop frequently under running water in the nearest tub or sink.

“Washing” Baseboards:  So many people take a bucket of water and a wet cloth or sponge to their baseboards. A wet cloth will cause dirt to settle into crevices, highlighting all your carpenter’s mistakes and making your baseboards look even dirtier than before.  Solution: Vacuum baseboards with a brush attachment and save the washing for when baseboards are scuffed-up.

Steam-Cleaning Carpets: Ever spill liquid on a new carpet?  If so, you found that the water beads-up before eventually soaking into the rug.  This is because unwashed carpet has a natural seal from the production of the fabric in even many hand-woven rugs.  Once you shampoo or steam-clean that carpet even just one time, the seal will be broken and your carpet will become a sponge for all future spills making stains harder to remove.  Solution: Put off that first clean as long as you can stand it. Spot clean with seltzer water for as many years as you can take it. Once you do give in and steam-clean, you might want to buy that machine since your next cleaning will not be far behind.

Don’t Mop Post-Renovation Dust!:  Most of that dust is from plaster and wetting it will turn it right back into plaster which, at best, will spread a film across your walls and floors which will not come off without hand-drying the surface.  At worst, it will settle between floor-boards and in the grain of your floors, which, if you have dark floors, can be very unsightly. Solution: Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Use a vacuum with hepa-filter and change the bags often. Use a brush attachment or Swiffer Dry mop for walls. When you feel confident you’ve effectively busted the dust, then mop to your heart’s content.

Toilet Pills Are Addictive!: Toilet pills in your tank leave residue which causes odors where clean water used to reside.  These substances contain harsh chemicals which can cause your toilet’s internal organs to shut down prematurely.  Withdrawal from these substances will leave a resin that will have your tank smelling worse than your bowl, sending you back to The Man for another fix.  Solution: Say it with me…”Just say ‘no’ to pills!”

Smelly Sponges:  I expect that a scientist could better explain this and I wish I could better-document this report with a rhyme or reason as to WHY this is true, but the day that you say goodbye to anti-bacterial dish soap and say hello to any brand of natural soap with no dyes or perfumes is the day you can also say goodbye to that stank-ass sponge!  No more need for hacks like putting your sponge in the dishwasher or microwaving it to nuke odor-causing aliens. Solution: What seems like a sponge is actually vital to the diverse community of organisms in your kitchen. Be nice to the sponge in your system and protect it from the modern trend of chemical warfare. Trust me, this is not fake news!

We hope the knowledge on this blog helps you treat your home with care. However, sometimes it’s great to have help – otherwise we wouldn’t be in business. Book service online today or call us at 212-684-4460 to schedule an appointment with New York City’s top-tier housekeepers.

Ditch Disposable Swiffer Pads and Go Eco Friendly

Man recycling

Stop filling the land and sea with Swiffer disposables! Most “Swiffer homes” I’ve gone into have a plethora of plastic dusters (because the stores are so often out of refill-only boxes) which they feed with an endless supply of microfiber disposables. And those who have bought into the Wet Jet craze are using batteries, plastic refillable bottles, unwanted chemicals and many replacement pads.

Try breaking with tradition and dusting with your vacuum. Use the soft brush attachment of your vacuum for dusting blinds, window sills, lampshades baseboards and, if your vacuum has a HEPA filter and adjustable power setting, you can even use it for your finer dusting needs!  Most new vacuums have excellent emission ratings and even the worst have at least good emission ratings when tested with fine flour particles.

Are you ready for innovation at it’s finest? Even if you’re not religious, I’d bet anything you have a hole-y t-shirt in your home.  Take it, run your hands under water a few times, drying them on the almighty shirt and safely dust your finest furniture and decor. Worried about sacrificing convenience? Take that crew sock who’s lost it’s better half and introduce it to a slender amount of water, inserting your dusting hand and go to town without leaving your home… convenient AND cozy.  The damp cloth holds dust particles as well as any disposable microfiber and then I toss it in my laundry. Make sure to not use fabric softener with your dusting cloth of choice – while fabric softener is GREAT for your skin, it makes fabrics worse at capturing moisture and dirt, which can lead to streaking (and not the fun kind, either)! 

To replace the Wet Jet and it’s plastic, batteries, chemicals, and disposable pads… get ready… I’m going rogue on you again…use a mop!  It’s a radical idea, I know, but is it really easier to replace the pad (and batteries and refill the fluid) than to give a quick rinse under running water? If you forgot to pick up replacement pads at the store then you’re out of luck.  Recently a White Glove Elite housekeeper was using the Wet Jet for a client and the batteries died AND it ran out of fluid. He had enough pads, but  used them down to the last one, so hopefully someone will get to the store before the next cleaning and fill Procter & Gamble’s coffers while accelerating the arrival of our coffins. Being stuck mopping the floor with Windex in one hand and the Wet Jet in the other is a cruelty you should never need to inflict upon your cleaner, especially when the time for 2-armed elbow grease comes around.

Do you know the #1 cause of film on your floors? It’s cleaning product residue! Why are we putting dirt and chemicals back on our floors by rinsing in a bucket when we have clean running water to give us a fresh mop with each rinse?  Try it. That’s right. Mop your wood floors with just warm water. You might have to add a little more elbow grease, but that’s cheap and it never runs out (and might just burn some calories.) For kitchen and bathroom floors, dilute your product in a spray bottle and spray on the floor as you go. Your product will go ten times further before you run out.  I like the old school cotton hair mop, feel free to use a sponge mop that you can ring without getting your hands wet.

Are you paying to dust and clean your floors?  We love the Swiffer duster and Wet Jet, just don’t be fooled into thinking they’re a necessity.

We hope the knowledge on this blog helps you treat your home with care. However, sometimes it’s great to have help – otherwise we wouldn’t be in business. Book service online today or call us at 212-684-4460 to schedule an appointment with New York City’s top-tier housekeepers.

8 Ways to Prepare Your Home For Winter

new york city snowy street

As the thermometer slowly works its way downwards, the best of us are already thinking ahead to frost filled mornings! Not to savor in flushed cheeks and shivers (unless you’re into the sort of thing) but rather to ready their home, making the transition to winter more comfortable, enjoyable, and easier on the wallet. At least when your in doors!

Familiarize yourself with these tips ahead of time and put them to use when winter calls.

  1. The good sheet. Now’s the time to swap-out those sexy silk sheets with cozy flannel… or at least change your sheets to a higher thread count. 
  2. Don’t get cold feet. Break-out the mats!  Make sure you have cozy-warm mats in front of your sinks!  Your kitchen and bathroom floors are about to get chilly.
  3. Go old school. Change the accents in your home to include candles. If you have a favorite autumn or winter time scent, such as pumpkin spice or apple cinnamon, knock yourself out. 
  4. Rub a dub dub. Give a little more time to your regular tub cleaning.  A nice clean tub my entice you to take a hot bath over your regular shower.
  5. Free Your Fridge. The first cold day is a great time to defrost your fridge and run that self-clean cycle on your oven.  Pack the contents of your fridge into a bag and set it outside. In New York City, I’ve hung a bag of cold goods from my window!
  6. Hot air. Save money and energy by disconnecting the exhaust of your clothes dryer and covering it with a stocking to filter the lint. It’s already shooting out a ton of heat- that, unlike in summer time, you want to KEEP the HEAT inside. 
  7. Missing moisture. If you have radiant heat, invest in some decorative ceramic bowls, fill them with water and place on the radiator in each room. This will keep the humidity in your room at a comfortable level and prevent those lips from chapping. 
  8. Daft Police. Now’s a good time to replace the weather stripping around any window A/C units and get a cozy cover for the front of each unit.

We hope the knowledge on this blog helps you treat your home with care. However, sometimes it’s great to have help – otherwise we wouldn’t be in business. Book service online today or call us at 212-684-4460 to schedule an appointment with New York City’s top-tier housekeepers.