Our Long Island maids provide the greenest home and commercial cleaning throughout the Hamptons, Suffolk and Nassau Counties.

Author Archive for Francine

The Five Essential Oils you should have in your home

The Five Essential Oils you should have in your homeEssential Oils are a great way to help you steer clear of toxic chemicals in your home and on your body. From cleaning the bathroom to curing warts, essential oils have a wide range of uses. Since there are so many essential oils to choose from with hundreds of different uses, we have narrowed the choices down to five of our favorites.

Tea Tree Oil

Peppermint

  • Keep spiders and other pests away
  • Put 5 drops on a cotton ball and place in your vacuum cleaner bag to keep it smelling fresh (and less like your pets)
  • Create Non-Toxic Carpet Deodorizer by adding 5-10 drops of Lemon or Peppermint Essential Oil to a box of baking soda in a jar and shake well. Sprinkle over carpets, let sit for at least an hour, then vacuum.
  • Add a 10 ml bottle of Peppermint Oil into a gallon can of paint to help reduce fumes.
  • Reduce headaches, stimulate memory and stay alert while driving by inhaling Peppermint Oil
  • Soothe sore feet by adding 10 drops Peppermint and 1 tbsp. Epson salt to hot water

Citrus/Lemon Oil

  • Soak dishcloths and sponges overnight in a bowl of water mixed few drops of Lemon or Tea Tree Oil to disinfect and kill germs.
  • Keep kitchen odors away with Lemon Essential Oil
  • Take the “stink” out of shoes with Lemon Essential Oil or Tea Tree Oil
  • Make a fresh smelling kitchen sink scrub by creating a paste of ½ cup baking soda, ⅛ cup vinegar and 10 drops of Lemon Oil. Scrub sink then rinse.
  • Clean fresh fruit by placing in in a bowl of cool water with a few drops of Lemon Essential Oil for a few minutes. Rinse well and store as usual.
  • Remove gum, glue, adhesive or crayon from most surfaces with a few drops of Lemon Oil (always test small area first)

Lavender

  • Place 10-15 drops of Lavender Essential Oil on a small piece of terry cloth and toss into the dryer while drying in place of dryer sheets.
  • Ease a tension headache by massaging 1-2 drops onto your neck and temples.
  • Calm a bee sting or insect bit by putting a drop on the affected area to stop itching reduce swelling.
  • Diffuse next to you bed to help you sleep
  • Add  a few drops to your bath and body products relieve aching muscles and stress.
  • Create a compress by soaking a towel in a bowl of water mixed with a few drops of lavender oil. Apply this to sprains or muscle injuries
  • Add a few drops to baking soda and water to create an all-natural antibacterial scrub for your bathroom and kitchen.

Eucalyptus

  • Clean your floors with 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and 2 tablespoons of liquid castile soap added to a gallon of hot water.
  • Clear up congestion with 2 to 3 drops eucalyptus added 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Rub mixture onto your check and breathe deep.
  • Freshen stale air by adding 5 drops to a diffuser or leave out in shallow dishes.
  • Prevent mold in the shower by combining 5 drops each of eucalyptus and tea tree oil to 16 oz. of water in spray bottle. Spray down shower after each use to inhibit mold growth.
  • Keep fleas off your pets by mixing 3 to 4 drops into your pet’s shampoo.
Let us give your home a Non-Toxic Green Clean so you don't have to! Call Teresa's Family Cleaning for an estimate today!

10 All Natural Remedies for Sunburn

-Natural-Remedies-for-Sunburn

Summer is in full swing and by now most of you have had a a sunburn (or two). While it is best to apply sunblock often while outside, the occasional sunburn is bound to happen so make sure you’re prepared with these all natural remedies.

  • Stash some aloe gel in the refrigerator and apply liberally for instant, cool relief
  • Heal a sunburn overnight using apple cider vinegar and coconut oil
  • Create a cooling remedy by liquefying 2 cold cucumbers and adding some cornstarch or baking soda until a thin paste is created. Apply to affected area as needed.
  • Make cold compresses by soaking a clean cloth in a bowl containing equal parts milk, ice cubes and water. Hold the cloth on the burned area for about five minutes and repeat three times. The milk has soothing anti-inflammatory properties while the cold temperature help constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling.
  • Rehydrate after spending time in the sun. Water and non-caffeinated beverages are best.
  • Apply plain yogurt to sunburned areas and allow to dry for approximately 5 minutes. Rinse and carefully pat dry.
  • Make a thin paste of cornstarch or baking soda and apply to affected area as necessary.
  • Toss some clean potatoes (skin and all) into a blender and liquefy. Soak cotton balls or gauze in mixture and apply to burned areas. Repeat as necessary.
  • Brew some mint tea (1 quart water, 5 green tea bags, 3 cups of fresh mint leaves) and chill completely in the refrigerator. Spray, pour or apply directly to the burn. Repeat as needed.
  • Spray or apply pure unfiltered apple cider vinegar directly on sunburned skin and allow to dry.
  • Create a cooling remedy by liquefying 2 cold cucumbers and adding some cornstarch or baking soda until a thin paste is created. Apply to affected area as needed.
Let us give your home a Non-Toxic Green Clean so you don't have to! Call Teresa's Family Cleaning for an estimate today!

Behind the Scenes Green Spring Cleaning

Behind-the-Scenes--Green-Spring-CleaningSpring is in full bloom and we are all enjoying the sunshine and beautiful weather after a long and dull winter. As we start to open our windows for fresh air and venture outside more, a lot of us feel more energized and start thinking about Spring Cleaning. For most of us, this might mean going through toys, the garage, your closets, etc but have you thought about the dirt and buildup “Behind the Scenes” in your home? Sometimes its the dirt you cannot see that could cause the most amount of trouble.

Cleaning your power outlets

We probably don’t think about cleaning power outlets often but we should. Dirt, dust and pet hair can easily build up in the crevices over time. Now would be a great time to inspect your outlets to make sure they are functioning properly and give them a cleaning if needed. First, shut the power (safety first!) then remove the plate cover. If damaged, very old and beyond cleaning it’s best to replace them. Vacuum the outlet if excessively dusty/full of hair then dab a clean cloth (do not saturate) in a 50/50 vinegar solution and carefully wipe the outlet down.  Wipe down outlet cover with 50/50 vinegar solution, then replace. All clean!

Cleaning your Vacuum

Yes, you do need to clean your vacuum! Your vacuum works hard to keep your home clean and in order for it to work properly and for a long time it needs to be cleaned on a regular base. Learn How to Clean a Vacuum here.

Keeping your Air Ducts Clean

When was the last time you cleaned the air ducts in your home or office? If you’re stumped for the answer this post is for YOU! Duct cleaning involves the  cleaning of all heating and cooling system components of forced air systems which includes the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles/diffusers, heat exchangers, heating/cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and housing, along with the air handling unit housing. Mold, pollen, dust and dust mites get trapped in these area and can cause air quality issues, especially for those who have respiratory issues or allergies. Learn how you can Keep Your Air Ducts Clean here.

How to Clean your Dryer Vent

Keeping your dryer vent clear and clean is extremely important. According to the The Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are over 15,000 clothes dryer fires occurring in North America every year so it is of utmost importance to make sure your vents (indoors and outside) are clean and inspected at least once a year.

Start by unplugging your dryer or turn off the gas if you have a gas dryer. Remove your lint trap and remove any lint from the screen. Use a dryer vent brush (available online and at most home improvement stores) to remove any residual lint left in the trap. Follow up with a shop vac or vacuum cleaner attachment to collect any residual lint left behind.

The next part might be tricky if you aren’t handy. You need to disconnect and clean the dryer’s exhaust duct tube. You can pay a professional if you aren’t comfortable taking your dryer apart but this tutorial walks you through it and it’s pretty easy, even for a novice. Either way, it needs to be cleaned for efficiency and safety.

Keeping your Washing Machine Clean

You might not think that your washing machine needs to be cleaned but in reality, cleaning and maintaining it can mean the difference between a machine that runs well or an  expensive service call (or worse!) It only takes a few simple steps to keep your machine working well and keeping those service calls to a minimum. As with any appliance, keeping it clean and maintained will keep it operating at its optimal performance over time. Lean How to Clean Your Washing Machine here.

There you have it! If you have any tips on keeping the Behind the Scenes of your home clean, we would love to hear them. Simply comment below.

 

Let us give your home a Non-Toxic Green Spring Clean so you don't have to! Call Teresa's Family Cleaning for an estimate today!

How to Keep Your Dirty Selves Clean

Call our office 866-744-4021 to give the gift of CLEAN this Valentine’s Day!

Our Actors and Actresses: Joe Puccio as the “Husband”, Alicia Puccio as “the Wife”,
Michelle Warren as “Teresa Girl”, and our candle lighting model “Tai Vicari” – Special credit to our Narley… who remained in character the entire shoot! ♥ “Woof” ♥
Copywrite 2013 Teresa’s Family Cleaning, Inc.
Filmed and edited by Margaret Nicosia of http://Rockatude.com/ | — with Tai Vicari and Michelle Koren Warren.

How to Support a Family Dealing with Childhood Cancer

Childhood-Cancer

According to a 2014 special report on childhood cancer by Cancer.org , 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20. Chances are, you know someone who is dealing with the reality of a child with cancer and you want to help but just don’t know what to do.

When you hear the news that a friend or loved one is dealing with childhood cancer, we instinctively say something like “please let me know if you need anything”  While this gesture is great, the reality is that the parent of a sick child is probably so overwhelmed with taking care of medical needs and they wont know where to begin or what to ask of friends and family. A non-intrusive, more proactive approach is to take it upon yourself to take on everyday tasks that might be neglected. These tips are also great for the new parent, someone getting over surgery or illness or anyone who might need the help.

Here are a few ideas

  • Get together with friends/family/co-workers and set up a meal train. Here’s a meal train planning website to help you get started. This is a great way to help out someone you don’t know very well but want to show your support.
  • Order meals to be delivered. If you don’t want to cook, you can use a delivery service like grubhub.com to have meals delivered by local restaurants (they even deliver to hospitals.) This website makes it easy for non-local friends and family to help out long distance.
  • If you are close, offer to pick up, wash, dry, fold and drop off their laundry.
  • Create a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit using these DIY Cleaning Recipes so they can clean their home without worrying about the effects of toxic chemicals on an already compromised immune system.
  • Offer to babysit the siblings of the sick child or take them out to a movie, dinner, etc. Often siblings of sick children feel left out and this would be a great opportunity to make them feel special.
  • Consider giving a gift card for groceries, the pharmacy, or big box stores. The financial burden of medical bills can be crippling and these gifts will be well appreciated.
  • Hire a cleaning company or give a gift certificate for a cleaning to relieve some of the stress from this everyday chore.
  • Write notes and cards of encouragement. The parent of a child might not be able to chat on the phone but they will appreciate this sentiment.
  • Don’t just help now, help later too. When a child is first diagnosed, the offers of help will be pouring in. After awhile, as the offers subside, it would be greatly appreciated to take on any of these ideas to show you are still there and still care.

After losing her sister Virginia to cancer, Teresa Ward, owner of Teresa’s Family Cleaning, formed the charity, Cleaning Angels USA. This volunteer organization provides free cleaning services to Long Island women who are overwhelmed with the pain and stress of cancer treatment. For more information, call  631-759-7595 or email info@cleaningangelsusa.org

 

Let us give your home a Non-Toxic Green Clean so you don't have to! Call Teresa's Family Cleaning for an estimate today!

How to Deal with the Snow this Winter

Dealing with Snow

Winter is upon us and with it comes cozy nights by the fire (ahhh) along with snow, ice, salt and sand. Don’t get caught unprepared for this sometimes trying time of year!

De-Ice those car windows!

If the super cold temps are in the weather report, head outside the night before and spray a mixture of three parts vinegar to  one part water on all the windows and windshields of your vehicle. Wipe dry and head back inside. This simple act will prevent or help reduce the frost buildup for you to deal with the next morning. If you skip a day or if there is still frost build up, simply spray the same solution on the frost, let sit a minute and then gently scrape away.

Where there’s Snow, there’s Salt

  • If you head outside in the winter, you will be standing in salt and sand and tracking it in your vehicle and home. While most of this nuisance can be vacuumed up, often you are left with a salt stain that seems to want to stick around. To remove stubborn salt stains, combine 50/50 solution of vinegar and water and spray directly on stained area. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Blot dry with a clean white towel or rag and repeat as necessary until stain is removed.
  • Only use safe, green ice melt or non-clumping kitty litter on your walkways and driveways. Traditional rock salt can cause severe dermatitis, inflammation of the paws, vomiting and internal burns of the mouth and digestive tract if your pet comes into contact with it outside or when tracked in your home. Look for pet friendly ice melts without calcium chloride and magnesium chloride listed in the ingredients

Staying safe and warm

If are you lucky enough to have a cozy fireplace to sit by on a cold winter’s night it is important that you are using and maintaining it properly. Check out our  post Keeping Your Fireplace Clean, and Green to learn how.

Be Prepared

You never really know how bad a snow or ice storm will get even with the best weather reports so it is always best to be prepared. BEFORE the weather calls for a storm, be sure to have the following items on hand and ready to use:

  • Snow shovel
  • Pet Friendly Ice Melt
  • one gallon of water for each person in your family
  • 3-day supply of nonperishable easy-to-prepare food for each person in your family (don’t forget your pets!)
  • Flashlights
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • See  the complete Winter Storm Safety Checklist from The Red Cross
Let us give your home a Non-Toxic Green Clean so you don't have to! Call Teresa's Family Cleaning for an estimate today!

Charitable New Year’s Resolutions

Charitable-New-Year's-ResolutionsDo you seem to make the same New Year’s Resolutions every year? Most of us declare on January 1st that this is the year they will lose weight, quit smoking, join a gym, de-clutter your home etc but by February 1st it seems like we fall back into the same old habits. This can lead to frustration and isn’t a great way to start off a fresh new year.

What if this was the year you were able to help those less fortunate by helping yourself? Would that be the key to staying on track with your New Year’s Resolutions? As you know, two of our favorite things here are Teresa’s Family Cleaning are a clean home and helping out charitable organizations. To start this new year off right, we have compiled a list of organizations that will accept items you are no longer using that might be cluttering up your home. Now is the time to get yourself in gear to start off a great new year!

  1. Books: Send your old books to Books for Soldiers to be included in care packages to our troops overseas.
  2. Cell phones:  We all have a old phone lying around in a drawer that we just don’t know what to do with. The Wireless Foundation will refurbish your old phone and give it to a domestic-violence survivor through calltoprotect.org. Cell Phones for Soldiers helps provide cost-free communication services to active duty military members and veterans with your cell phone donations.  For information on other cell-phone charities, log on to recyclewirelessphones.com.
  3. Computers: Nextsteprecycling.org repairs your broken computers and gives them to underfunded schools, needy families, and nonprofits.
  4. Eyeglasses: Help others who cannot afford glasses by donating your old ones to neweyesfortheneedy.com. You can also drop off old pairs of glasses at LensCrafters, Target Optical, or other participating stores and doctors’ offices, which will send them to onesight.org.
  5. Formal wear: What do you do with that prom or bridesmaid’s dress that you wore once? Give it to a girl who can’t afford one by sending it to operationfairydust.org or catherinescloset.org).
  6. Furniture: Goodwill Industries will take your old furniture and offers a pick up service for large pieces
  7. Gadgets: We all love gadgets and most likely have a few around collecting dust. Recycleforbreastcancer.org, will send you prepaid shipping labels, recycle your gadgets, then donate the proceeds to breast cancer charities.
  8. Holiday cards: Donate those boxes of old cards to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children (stjudesranch.org). This nonprofit home for abused and neglected children runs a holiday-card reuse program in which the kids cut off the front covers and create new cards to sell, benefiting programs and services.
  9. Men & Women’s Office Attire:  Gently worn men’s suits and the like can be donated to Career Gear to help low income men succeed in interviewing and obtaining a job. Dress for Success collects gently worn office attire for economically disadvantaged women.
  10. Sneakers: Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program, nikereuseashoe.com accepts any brand of old sneakers and recycles them into “Nike Grind Material” used to create athletic surfaces for  communities in need. If your sneakers are lightly worn, you can donate them to needy athletes in the United States and around the world through oneworldrunning.com.

If you have any organizations that take gently used items for charitable organizations we would love to hear from you! Simply comment below. We would like to wish you and your family a wonderful New Year!

Our organizing experts can help you sort through any level of clutter (even severe instances) to help reveal a neat and organized home.

Enjoy the Gift of Giving on Long Island this Holiday Season

Gift of Giving

The holiday season is upon us and with it comes a whirlwind of activities to enjoy: baking, holiday parties and activities, not to mention holiday shopping. For some Long Islanders however, this might be a time of hardship and sadness for various reasons such as illness and financial situations. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the gift of giving this holiday season.

How to  help your fellow Long Islanders in need:

Friday, December 19th
2014 Holiday Party, Toy Drive, and Networking Event
Come on down and enjoy some dinner and dancing along with DJ Don Q from the 26th Annual Gala, back by popular demand! Event will include Includes hors d’oeuvres, dinner, wine, dessert,soft drinks and a cash bar will be available.

Saturday, December 21st
American Red Cross and NY Islanders Blood Donations
Join the American Red Cross and the NY Islanders at Nassau Coliseum to donate blood to those who are need in this holiday season. Held from 9 AM-3 PM.

Tuesday, December 23rd
7th Annual Cops Who Care Food Drive
The 7th Annual Cops Who Care Food Drive will take place on December 23rd at the Parking Lot of SCPD Headquarters in Yaphank. This event is a partnership between the Suffolk County Police Department & the New York State Police. FREE turkeys and hams will be distributed to families in need.

BounceU Farmingdale
BounceU is sponsoring a Holiday Toy Drive running from November 22 through December 20. They will be collecting new, unused toys to donate to the Marine Corp’s Toys for Tots program. Participants will receive $2 off any Open Bounce Session.

If you can’t make these upcoming fundraisers there are still plenty ways to help.

Here are a few local charities that help our Long Island neighbors in need:

Newsday Charities Help-A-Family
Newsday Charities, a McCormick Foundation Fund, provide programs (shelter, transitional housing, food and a safe haven for domestic abuse victims) to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and families. When you donate,  The McCormick Foundation matches your gift at fifty cents on the dollar so $20 becomes $30; $100 becomes $150 and so on.

Toys for Tots
Collecting for Toys for Tots has been a wonderful tradition here at Teresa’s Family Cleaning and this year we had some local entertainment (see video below!) The marines came by to pick up our donations for the year but there is still time to donate!

Lighthouse Mission 
Lighthouse Mission is Long Island’s largest mobile food pantry. Each week, Lighthouse Mission box trucks go out stocked with emergency food, clothes & other necessities to help Long Islanders in need, feeding more than 3200 people.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island is currently accepting age-appropriate donations for underprivileged area teens in time for the holiday season

Local churches, synagogues and food pantries could use your help too

Most religious establishments either collect food and donations internally or donate to food pantries and other charities year round. Consider stopping by one in your neighborhood to see if they are accepting donations. If you are not sure where to start, check out this food pantries of Suffolk County website to get you started.

Local Long Islanders need our help and I cannot think of a better way to teach our children that charity begins at home this holiday season. If you know of a local charity that could use some help, feel free to leave their information in the comments below.

Keep your home merry and bright. Let us give your home a Non-Toxic Green Clean this holiday season! Call Teresa's Family Cleaning for an estimate today!