The Voice of the Microwave

microwave_expolosion

This mess would easily add $60 to your house clean.

Sometimes a microwave explosion speaks louder than words. I have yet to see a microwave as bad as the one pictured above, but anyone not using a microwave protector makes our job more difficult.

microwave_expolosion2

This is a more typical scenario. Cooking uncovered pizza, pizza rolls and lasagna dishes are top culprits. What makes it worse is when a client fail to clean up the explosion and continue to use the microwave. It embeds and hardens the food debris even more.

ENTER…My Magic Mop. Don’t count on us to clean up this mess without an additional cost.

We assume common sense prevails in microwave use and if it doesn’t, plan on paying for your lack thereof. Cleaning the interior of a microwave can add as much as 30 minutes to your house clean time. In relative terms, that would be around $15 to clean this mess, maybe more.

Here are a couple of quick pointers in keeping your microwave in tip-top shape to avoid extra charges on cleaning day:

  • Grab a handful of paper towels. Wet them and throw them inside the microwave.
  • Run the microwave on HIGH for 3-5 minutes.
  • The steam from the towels softens the dirt and grime. Wait until they cool down adequately then use them to wipe down the inside of the microwave.

Second option:

  • Steam is a superb method for cleaning any food which is stuck on to the walls and platter of your microwave.
  • Another line of attack is to fill a glass, heatproof bowl with water. Blast it on HIGH for 2 minutes then leave the door closed for a further 2 minutes.
  • The steam will have reconstituted the ingrained dirt and you’ll find it incredibly easy to wipe off.

HOW TO: Clean Vinyl Laminate Flooring

IMG_2093[1]My husband and I recently built a house on the lake. In an effort to keep a minimalist look, we opted to use vinyl laminate planking. The flooring interlocks seamlessly and is promoted as being ‘easy care’.

I was ready to put our 3500 square feet of this flooring to the cleaning test. As the owner of My Magic Mop, my arsenal of cleaning supplies includes the best of the best.

With so much square footage to clean, my goal was to find the best product and mop for the dollar. Easier said than done.

I tested a number of top-rated cleaning products, but found the end results lacking. DIY products, like vinegar water, were also tested and the outcome was unsatisfactory.

GOAL: A streak-free floor once mopped floor dried.

After testing various products over the course of two-plus months, I concluded that the best products for my vinyl laminate floors were:IMG_2108[1]

  • MOP:
    O’Cedar Micro Fiber Cloth Mop
  • BUCKET:
    O’Cedar, designed to work with the micro-fiber mop
  • CLEANING PRODUCT:
    Holloway House multi-surface floor cleaner (use full strength in a spray bottle)

Clear the floor of all obstacles (place stools on counters and rugs out of the way) and visually divide the room into quadrants. Spray small sections within the quadrant with the floor cleaner and damp mopped that area. It is important to make both a vertical and horizontal pass with the mop head.

img_20981.jpgThe first mop pass is done in an up and down vertical motion. Rinse the mop before doing the second sweep which is a horizontal “S” movement.

Continue this same mopping pattern for every quadrant. To avoid foot prints, start in a corner and mop your way out IMG_1506[1]of the room.

 

As the floor dried, I had doubts whether it would remain streak-free but no evidence of streak marks were noted. As the sun shined through the windows there was not one streak to be found. I did a happy dance wearing my mop slippers, of course.

Mission accomplished! After months of product testing, I had a spotless vinyl laminate floor for about 2 minutes, and then… the grand kids came over.

Tutorial: How to Make Perfect Vacuum Lines

I will never forget the first time I saw perfectly aligned vacuum lines in carpet. I worked at the main office of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in Portsmouth, NH. One of the cleaning staff was vacuuming a large open area and with every sweep of her vacuum she formed perfect anglcarpet linesed lines. I was awestruck!

To avoid putting footprints in the nicely groomed carpet, I took the stairs to the next level. As crazy as it might seem, any foot imprint in the carpet would have been an irreverent act.

When I got home that evening, I pulled out my old Kirby vacuum and practiced making lines in my carpet. It was a total failure. I had lines, but they didn’t look pretty and went in every direction imaginable. But I didn’t give up.

What I discovered immediately was NEVER vacuum yourself into a corner. Also, always plug your cord into an outlet that is closet to where you will exit the room. Maneuvering around furniture is tricky but, with practice, you will soon be making lines in places you never dreamed possible.

Here are a few tips I have to share:

  • Use the crevice attachment (if you have one) on your vacuum cleaner first. Vacuum the edges in each room before you vacuum the carpet.
  • Vacuum from the furthest corner away from the door and vacuum your way out of the room. Visually divide your room into sections if it is large and start at the far corner.
  • Move any easily movable furniture out of the room or place on a surface that won’t be vacuumed (bed, table, etc.). That way, you have the most space available to do your work.
  • Keep the cord behind you. Return any moved furniture to its place before moving on to the next section. This will alleviate any unwanted footprints on your ‘cut lines’.
  • Turn on power. Pull straight back to the end of your section (do not extend your reach farther than you can extend your arm). Now, go right back over that line you just made, and finally, pull back on an angle. Keep vacuuming in one direction, that way you’ll never repeat an area you’ve already cleaned and you also don’t step all over the area you just vacuumed.
  • Once you get to the end of your section, pull everything back to the beginning of your next section and repeat! You should vacuum yourself out the door.
  • Make slow, deliberate passes to ensure the dirt is being sucked up into the vacuum.
  • Back your way out of the room.

Here is a great video showing how it is done: