Cleaning Tips


September 6th, 2012

Pool Cleaning and Care

While West Valley Maids is not in the business of Pool care, I thought this would be a great subject to jump on as I have wrestled with this issue myself!  Keeping a pool clean can be a challenge, to say the least.  If you’re like me, you don’t have time to deal with it with a busy life, work, children, dinner, and so on.  But what I have discovered over the last few years with my own pool and many of the pool services that I have had is this.  Most pool services that I personally have paid for ($85 a Month), simply come out, empty the skimmer basket, and throw 3 chlorine tabs in.  Yep, that’s it.  Then they leave!  Not very good service, right?  I know this to be a fact because we have set up surveillance with the last 3 companies in order to see what they are doing when they come.  And now we know why our pool was never that clean!

Yes, for the mere price of a bucket of hockey puck sized chlorine tabs, you too can do what you are paying (Or I was paying) the pool service to do.  Now please, don’t think because you are reading this that ALL pool services are this way.  Because I know for a fact, they are not.  Our first pool service company did a great job every time and always kept our pool very clean.  But it is in my opinion that more often than not, they will simply give the same treatment that our pool has been getting.

I have found there are several things that you can do with a busy schedule and keep your pool really clean without spending $85 a month.

  1. Empty the Skimmer Basket Once a week – Takes two minutes which includes the time it takes you to walk over to it, and walk back to the house.
  2. Keep Your Chlorine Tabs Fresh – If you see them dwindling in size or that there are not much of them left, simply drop some new ones in the skimmer basket.  (That’s all my last 3 pool service companies were doing)
  3. Get a Brush and a Pole – These are pretty affordable at the pool supply stores in Arizona.  Usually around $30 for the Pole and $20 for the brush head.  Now every time you are going to swim, just spend 5 minutes brushing the dirt and silt at the bottom towards the intake drains.  Then once you’re good and hot, take a dip!
  4. Buy a Pumice Stone – These are around $12 and last forever.  If you have tile lining the top of your pool, these are great for cleaning off the hard water calcium build up.  Just do a few feet every time you take a swim.  You’re already in the water.  :)
All that said, I have found that for a lot less money, I can keep my own pool clean with little to no effort.  It sure does beat paying someone $85 a month to show up for 2 minutes a week and toss a couple of chlorine tabs in the skimmer basket!

August 23rd, 2012

Dust Bunnies – How To Deal With Them

It’s that time of year again!  Fall is just around the corner and we have had a lot of dust storms and wind in Phoenix this summer.  Keeping in mind, it’s recently been very humid outside across the entire valley.  And what do you get when you mix dust, moisture, and wind?  You get dirt in places that you wouldn’t expect to find it at all.

The Arizona ecosystem can wreak havoc on the insides of houses without us even realizing it.  At least, not until we go to clean the house or have it cleaned professionally. Dust has a tendency to travel from place to place.  It doesn’t just settle and sit in one spot.  Especially with cooler temperatures coming.  When you open your windows to get that nice cool breeze, the air will move those dust particles around and sometimes, dust bunnies form.  Or, globs of dust.  These can also be mixed in with spider webs.  That’s right.  You are never more than 5 feet from a spider believe it or not!

Remember when living in the Valley of the Sun to always keep your air filters clean.  These are the filters for your central air.  Once they are clogged up with dust, particles get re-circulated around the home causing more dust build up.  Pets also contribute to dust build up.  Especially if you have one or more that shed a lot.  And it’s not just hair.  It’s hair and dander.

Some Tips on Keeping Dust Away:

  • Forget heavy drapes.  Heavy material drapes tend to collect a lot of dust and particles.  Consider changing to blinds or shutters.  These are also easier to clean.
  • Watch the Bed!  Wash pillow cases and bedding linen frequently.  Dust can build up on these items without you even noticing.
  • Central Air Filter.  Change this regularly.  Those filters tend to collect a lot of dust and particles and will end up circulating that throughout your home.  A Clean air filter also helps the air to flow more evenly and reduces strain on your A/C unit.
  • Clean out your Closets.  Closets are a magnetic haven for dust.  With all of your clothing, boxes, and items that you keep in the closet, you are asking for a miniature dust town.  Throw out everything that you don’t need.  Consider packing clothes that you don’t wear in some sort of container.
  • Beat your Rugs.  Take your area rugs and carpets outdoors and beat them.  Hanging them over a cloths line or fence usually works great.  Then just beat them with something blunt (Not sharp).  This also helps to evict any possible dust mites you may have that have taken up residency in your area rugs!
  • Use Swiffers.  Feather dusters usually push dust around.  Use a Swiffer instead.  It’s a magnet for dust and actually collects and picks it up.  These handy little tools are relatively inexpensive and can save you a lot of work.

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