“The less clutter, the easier it is to keep any space clean,”—Mike Soukup, director of sales and marketing for ServiceMaster by Hedden.
It’s that time of year again.
The cobwebs and dust bunnies have formed, windows are streaked with fingerprints and carpets are looking mangy. You guessed it: the dreaded total home spring cleaning is knocking at the door. Springtime is about all things being renewed, especially in homes. Luckily, you don’t have to embark on this adventure alone. Follow these spring cleaning dos and don’ts from local experts. They offer advice on where to begin to tackle your cleaning to-do list room by room, scrub surfaces and clear out the clothing you haven’t worn in months. Follow these tips and tricks of the trade and your house will shine in no time.
Cleaning to Tip-Top Shape
Kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas
Cleaning business owner Heidi Swanson enjoys the perks of being self-employed. Swanson and her family moved to St. Michael over five years ago, yet she travels to Maple Grove daily to clean the homes of former neighbors. “I enjoy cleaning and I like to keep my own house clean,” she says.
Swanson is a one-woman business and acknowledges that spring cleaning can be daunting. She recommends tackling each room separately. “Start one room at a time,” she says. “Do extra things that you don’t normally do on your weekend cleaning.”
Brent Ashley agrees with Swanson about how to begin the spring cleaning process. Ashley became fed up with the corporate world and entered the cleaning business in 2006. Now owner of MaidPro’s Maple Grove location, he most enjoys giving back to the community he is so fond of by hiring and cleaning locally.
Ashley and MaidPro operations manager Alicia Kish also recommend pulling things away from walls, including the refrigerator, before beginning, as well as moving from top to bottom, left to right.
Airing out a home is a great way to welcome spring. Kish advises that homeowners clean screens and open vents. “Because you are so closed off in the winter, make sure you air it out,” she says. “Many homeowners do not remember to change furnace filters,” Swanson adds. This simple change profoundly affects a home’s dust buildup.
Cleaning crew owner Carla Hanson entered the business in 2006 with a marketing background. She and her team offer residential cleaning services, but also specialize in new home construction. They clean new homes to spotless status to ensure move-in readiness for new homeowners.
Hard water build up in bathrooms and kitchens is a difficult thing to combat. Hanson, Swanson and Kish agree that homeowners find these two rooms most challenging. “You can’t make a bathroom look brand new,” says Kish.
Ashley and Kish mention that green products are useful for everyday cleaning. However, no green product has yet been found strong enough for deep cleanings. They believe chemical based products have a “little more kick behind them,” and suggest Kaboom or Mr. Clean for hard water buildup. Hanson relies on magic erasers and dish soap for bathtubs, and mixes vinegar and baking soda on countertops. In addition to products, the tools you use make a difference. Ashley believes rags are superior to paper towels, and MaidPro uses blue surgical Huck Towels for scrubbing.
Stainless steel appliances present shining challenges. Hanson recommends Endust as a go-to cleaner for removing fingerprints. Ashley also advises scrubbing refrigerator and freezer shelves twice a year. And, it’s a good time to tackle food stains in cabinets and clean out cupboards.
Lastly, don’t overlook mattresses, lighting fixtures and ceiling fans while in deep-cleaning mode. Because the season change lends itself to a wardrobe change, Swanson advises this month as prime time to clean out closets.
From the Ground Up
Carpets, tiles and hardwood floors
“Is your laundry going to get cleaner if you wash it in cold water or hot water?” Mike Soukup, director of sales and marketing, poses this to his customers before his ServiceMaster cleaning crew embarks on their home. Soukup advises high temperature hot water extraction for a carpet overhaul that ensures the deepest cleaning.
ServiceMaster by Hedden has three locations in the Midwest, including one right here in Maple Grove. The franchise has been in service for over 30 years and includes carpet, tile, grout and hardwood cleaning among its expertise. The company also offers restoration and recovery cleanup.
A deep clean forces one to reach spaces that often remain untouched. Swanson and Hanson advise cleaning floorboards and baseboards before tackling flooring and carpets. Before beginning a carpet cleaning challenge, Soukup also suggests clearing away all debris. “The less clutter, the easier it is to keep any space clean,” Soukup says.
“Calling on a professional with top-notch equipment, such as ServiceMaster by Hedden, is the best thing to maintain carpet longevity and to secure your investment,” Soukup says. He advises hiring a carpet cleaning crew two times each year, including in the spring to clear out mud and snow buildup. Soukup also recommends investing in a reliable vacuum “The more soil and debris you can get out of there, the better,” he says. “When you clean your carpet, clean your carpet.” Ashley also stresses the importance of checking the safety of your vacuum before spring cleaning. Be sure to clean out bags, and check cords and beater bars.
Soukup says there isn’t one carpet-cleaning product that is superior to all others. “There is no silver bullet. As long as you are using the equipment that can get out what you can put in, you will be fine.” Although perhaps uncomfortable, Kish says the best and often most efficient way to clean a tile or hardwood floor is with a rag and bucket. Try a Swiffer for everyday cleaning and a mop with microfiber pads for deep scrubbing. According to Hanson, Bona cleaner is a solid go-to option. She also advises giving doormats and rugs a strong shake.
I Can See Clearly Now
Windows and blinds
Windows are prime surfaces for smudgy fingerprints and rain stains. Thus, maintaining crystal clear views often present challenges. Jeff Hansen entered the window cleaning business 22 years ago. He moved up the ranks with a local company and started Maple Grove based Superior Window Cleaning Services five years later. Hansen and his crew see larger windows in homes today, and more of them, which add complications.
In addition to windows, outside screens accumulate dirt and grime. Hansen advises cleaning screens before embarking on window cleaning, a task many homeowners do not take the time to do. “The screens are really what make the windows dirty,” Hansen says.
Carla Hanson offers a tried and true concoction for cleaning windows. Mix 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol to one quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray on glass and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. If the stains remain and you have exhausted all options, stick to Swanson’s tactic for her own home: “Close your blinds and curtains so no one can see your windows,” she laughs.
Because the Handyman Can
Small repairs and fix it projects
Spring cleaning isn’t centered solely on dust, grimy bathrooms and worn carpet. Take advantage of your cleaning spree and also focus on leaky faucets, unhinged doors and clogged rain gutters. After working for a construction company, Mark Riggle earned his handyman license and founded Professional Handyman Services in 1998. He enjoys the flexibility of his job and meeting Maple Grove residents.
Winter’s annual exit creates its own demand from both a cleaning and repair standpoint. Riggle advises homeowners tackle both indoor and outdoor spaces. Winter slush and snow buildup result in torn up lawns, leaks and sump pump issues. Riggle says the most important thing is seal walls before April showers begin. “Get your house caulked and sealed up from the winter months, to not let in the spring rains,” he says.
He also suggests ridding rain gutters of leaves, cleaning air conditioners and testing your home’s sump pump. “Make sure it (sump pump) is working correctly before your find out your basement is flooded,” he says.
Feeling overwhelmed with your home’s spring-time needs?
Stuck on a particularly nasty stain or dingy surface? If all else fails, call on local experts for assistance. Maple grove has its share.
MaidPro- Maple Grove
7492 East Fish Lake Rd.
Unfortunately, Carla Hanson is no longer offering cleaning services.
Superior Window Cleaning Services
6627 Kimberly Ln. N.
ServiceMaster by Hedden
9702 85th Ave. N.
Professional Handyman Services
11590 72nd Ave. N.