6 Common Cleaning Mistakes That Make Your House Dirtier

Mopping

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.

What’s The Best Way to Wash (and Get Smells Out of) Pillows?

Pillow Sheets and Bedding

We all know about laundering pillow cases… but think there’s nothing to be done about the pillow itself? WRONG!

Get a cheap bottle of vodka and a spray bottle. Mix 1 part vodka to 3 parts water. (You could splash for the nice stuff…but that means less to celebrate with later!)

Spray the pillow liberally and let dry (ideally in the sun – solar power is totally green). Fluff and repeat. Use a stronger solution for tougher odors. Plan to do this about once a month.

PRO TIPS Avoid drenching pillow and definitely do not submerge it into water!

Why does this work? Well there’s no chemists here at White Glove Elite, but the following IS true:

  • Alcohol is a powerful sterilizer and antimicrobial.
  • Vodka, as opposed to other spirits, has little in it beyond ethanol and water – by watering it down further, its as close to odorless (and colorless) as you can get in a cleaning solution.

Provenance of advice (given White Glove Elite founder, Jim Ireland’s, adjunct career as a stage actor) : Did you ever notice that dry cleaning does nothing for odors? Theaters across the country prefer this solution over dry cleaning to launder delicate, odor-rich costumes.

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.

The One Mistake That Ruins Everything After You Clean Up

Clutter in Bedroom

We all know the feeling when we are SO GLAD to walk into the room and appreciate the clean, organized, and packed away aesthetic beauty of mess-free environment. Sometimes that reflects the hard-won fruits of your labor, or sometimes that of someone else! Either way, time, energy, and effort went into achieving this.  Invariably, that hard work will fade due to the realities of life – but that doesn’t mean you should give up your space’s beauty so willingly.

This mistake is an easy one to understand, but not the easiest to implement, especially when you often find yourself exhausted or in a rush! But if you can embrace this mindset as a lifestyle, you’ll be ahead of the pack, and will thank yourself (and impress any guests/roommates.)

Simply – Don’t break the ice!  Once you have a clean surface, keep it perfect as long as you can!  As soon as you put one piece of clothing on that empty chair or one cup on that clean counter, you will think it’s okay to put another and they each will have six friends before you can say “clutter”.

To help you on this journey, embrace White Glove Elite founder, Jim Ireland’s 7-Second Rule, especially in the evening. When you remove your clothes for the day, ask yourself “do I have 7 seconds to…hang up, fold this, or put it in the laundry?”  The answer is invariably yes and will lead to astonishing results for those who so easily accumulate the dreaded pile of clothes.

The 7-Second Rule works with everything: cups on the counter, dishes not in the dishwasher, shoes on the floor, bags on the chair,mail on the table (okay, maybe you’d have to apply the 7-MINUTE rule to the mail.)

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.

Easy as Pie Tips for Moving!

black and brown Dachshund standing in box

Whether you’re moving for work, snatching a too-good-to-be-true deal on rent, getting more space to start a family (the reasons are endless) – the process itself is rarely fun. Imagining your future life in a new home is wonderful – you just have to get all your stuff there first. (Though we do wish that physical reality could move in lock-step with our daydreams…at least sometimes.)

And like everything with a lot of moving pieces, moving is easy to screw up.

Worst fears include damaging items, scratching the floors, or even losing treasured possessions. While accidents can still happens, we have some tips from White Glove Elite founder, Jim Ireland that are easy to implement and can save you a lot of struggle so you don’t have to resort to that Ibuprofen bottle after both your back and your head hurts.

Hold that run to laundromat.

With the exception of undergarments, dirty laundry is a much more effective packing material than packing paper and the trees will thank you! Use it for your most fragile items.

Repeat things you enjoy, not things your don’t.

Don’t waste time wiping or cleaning items before you pack. You’ll just be doing it again when you get there.

If you’re paying to rent a truck or van, use a little thought beforehand.

The greatest tetris expert can easily be foiled with just one quick start against a tightly packed stack if the stack is not level across the entire bed of the truck.

Use what you almost certainly have to lug heavy items.

Everyone knows to use blankets in the truck to protect un-boxed furniture, but few people use moving blankets within their apartment for the moving of furniture and boxes. Pack your boxes on top of a moving blanket and slide the stack of boxes where you need by pulling on the blanket. Place blankets under furniture and never scratch your floor again. Save your back and your security deposit! Moving blankets are very low-friction and are an amazing tool to help you move with ease.

With this knowledge in mind, save yourself some grief and make the most out of this big moment in your life. Your wallet, peace of mind, and schedule will thank you.

P.S. White Glove Elite would be glad to help you out with the move-out/move-in cleaning….

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.

1 Rule to Avert Your Very Own Hoarding Horror Story

books and papers spiral

WGE Founder Jim Ireland spent over 15 years cleaning New York City apartments as a supplement to his career as a stage and screen actor. Having seen inside both the glitziest and grimiest abodes Manhattan has to offer, we asked Jim to share some of his cleaning horror stories.

This one in particular stood out.

I once arrived to clean an apartment in Midtown with another cleaner. The woman met us out in the hall to warn us that her place was “very messy”. She stood in the hallway with her door ajar as if she was hiding her home from us. When she invited us in, she squeezed through the narrow door opening, as did we, with the stunning revelation that she was not hiding her place but had hoarded so much stuff that she could barely open her front door. We literally stepped up into her apartment and were walking so high off of the floor on her “stuff” that we had to duck to get through the interior doorways. In the bedroom there was no sight of a bed, only the gradual rise and fall of a magazine mound.

Don’t live in a landfill! (Well unless you’re into that sort of thing – you know what they say about one man’s trash…)

While we’ve shared with you Jim’s 7 Second Rule for preventing messes from accumulating in the first place. However that ship has long sailed if you find yourself in a situation such as the one Jim found our friendly neighborhood hoarder in. Even if it’s not that bad, recognizing that the clutter is reaching an unacceptable level is the first step to taking action. What do you do if the problem is HOW DO I GET RID OF ALL THIS STUFF? There’s a reason (psychological, sentimental, laziness) you held onto these things in the first place, so Jim has a helpful rule to cut through the uncertainty, set down some boundaries, and make it easy to get down to getting rid of all this junk.

The 2 Year Rule: If you haven’t worn or used something this season or last season, give it to someone who will. And if you’re holding onto it because you’re thrifty, give it to a not-for-profit organization, get a receipt for it and deduct it from your taxes.

If you can’t think of someone who would make use of these things, or if they aren’t suitable for anyone else – then there’s only one appropriate action: disposal (don’t forget to recycle if that’s appropriate.) There you go – if you’re holding onto something for the mere sake that it might come in handy some day at the expense of comfort in your present living space, then either you’re delusional or you need a storage unit. Follow this rule (you don’t have to blindly terrorize yourself, a FEW exceptions are allowed) and you will find yourself de-cluttering your space, your mind, and gaining square footage you totally forgot about!

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.

The Most Important POV For A Clean Bathroom

Bathroom Holder
Photo by hermaion from Pexels

It’s all about perspective.

“A quick cleaning trick is to take a second to sit on the john before leaving the bathroom,” WGE Founder Jim Ireland says. “That’s where people spend the most idle time in there and have a chance to see how clean your bathroom really is.”

Such a simple, but obvious trick.

Also – and this one is applicable in all rooms – if you’re a particularly tall (or short) person, try switching up your elevation with a quick crouch or climb on a chair. What looks a perfectly clean room from a scan around at your height can instantly reveal undusted surfaces or hidden debris.

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.

This Money Saving Knowledge Will Make You a Shower Curtain Cleaning Pro

Bathroom Shower Curtain
Photo by yann maignan on Unsplash

We sat down with White Glove Elite Founder, Jim Ireland (a cleaner himself for 15 years) to discuss some lesser known cleaning tips and he was more than happy to share this gem!

My least favorite cleaning chore for the first decade of my cleaning career was cleaning shower curtains/liners. The ones with the soap scum and oftentimes black mildew at the bottom of them because my clients apparently hated to clean them as much as I did. My reason for hating this chore was because spray cleaners are not strong enough, scouring cleansers are very difficult to rinse, and it is impossible to get enough leverage to effectively use elbow grease without tearing the liner from the rings on curtain rod.

Does this familiar to anyone? YUCK.

Luckily, Jim found a solution.

I had been told to launder them, but I didn’t get great results when I had tried that UNTIL I added rags and bleach to the process: I now remove the shower liners, gather cleaning rags and white socks, place in a tumble washer and launder in hot water using half of your normal amount of detergent and one cup of bleach. If your shower curtain/liner does not come out looking like new, then you didn’t have enough rags or socks in the load.

And luckily a bit knowledge led to a happy conclusion.

This job is now – no lie – my single most favorite chore around the house.

Next time you find yourself stuck on something your dreading – sometimes a bit a knowledge, advice, or experimentation can totally change the game and alter your entire mentality. And even save you some cash. Who knew you could wash shower curtains? I was FAR too resigned to chuck them in trash – after also letting them get WAY grimier than common sense hygiene would allow – solely because I considered them disposable. Your wallet will thank you!

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.

This Rule Will Save You Hours Around the House

Washing fork in sinkHere’s White Glove Elite’s founder Jim Ireland’s priceless 7-Second Rule: Whenever you remove an item of clothing or bring a dish to the sink, I ask myself, “Do I have seven seconds to hang this item or rinse it and put it in the dishwasher?” The answer is invariably “yes” and it saves me hours every month trying to decipher my dirty wrinkled laundry from my cleaner wrinkled laundry. And for dishes it saves me a half-hour per week by not having to soak and scrub caked-on dirty dishes.

It takes 45 days to build a new repetitive habit because that is about how long it takes for your brain to blaze a new neural pathway. While it might not be easy at first, 7 seconds here and there is very realistic to fit into your daily routine (unlike say, spending an hour at the gym, or cutting out carbs completely.) So what’s the harm in trying? Scientists have proven that small steps on the path to greater goals gives you brain a tiny hit of the neurochemical dopamine – so hey, you might start even enjoying it as well! Think BIG PICTURE!

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.