Dust Building Up in Hard-to-Reach Places?

Is dust building up in the hard-to-reach places in your home?  We’ve all noticed cobwebs or a thin layer of dust that’s just out of reach. When dusting (and cleaning in general!) you always want to start from the top and work down to the bottom of a room.  That way you won’t spread dirt to places that you’ve already cleaned!  With that in mind, here are our top tricks to dusting hard-to-reach areas….

From Top …

Dust Building Up in Hard-to-Reach Places? | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Ceiling Fans – Dust fan blades with an old cotton or flannel pillow case to avoid having dust fall in your face

Bathroom Fans – Use canned air or vacuum with your attachment to get rid of the dust between bathroom fan slots

Ceiling Corners and Above Kitchen Cabinets – Use your wand vacuum attachment to clean cobwebs in the corners or your rooms and to dust the tops of the books.

Walls, Doors, Ceilings and Door/Window Frames – Clean with a dry mop or a broom with a microfiber cloth rubber-banded on it to catch all of the dust.  Then toss the cloth in the washer and you’re done!  You can use this same method to clean behind furniture or baseboards.

Blinds – Put an old, clean sock on your hand, sock puppet-style, to clean your blinds.

…To Bottom

Dust Building Up in Hard-to-Reach Places? | Carpe Diem Cleaning

The best DIY dusting tool!

Upholstered Furniture – Use the skinniest attachment on your vacuum to get between the crevices of your furniture. Take off all unattached cushions for the best results!

Behind Stove and Refrigerator – Move the appliances out and vacuum away any dust.  Unplug these if you can!

Baseboards – Use dryer sheets or microfiber cloths to remove dust either by hand or rubber banded onto a broom.

Bonus Tip – Before you dust your house, turn the “Fan” option on your A/C unit on.  It will suck up the extra dust in the air to your air filter instead of floating around in the air for you and your family to breathe in!

What deep cleaning dusting tips would you add to this list?

Interview with Team Leader Veronica

This is Daly, Carpe Diem’s Branch Manager, checking in today with an interview of Veronica on her 2 year anniversary with Carpe Diem!

How did you start at Carpe Diem? 
I was referred by a former Carpe Diem employee who I am related to.
What do you like about Carpe Diem? 
I love working with each team member at Carpe Diem!  Carpe Diem is a very friendly environment, and I love what I do here.
Any advice for preparing your home for a cleaning?
Leave your home free of clutter so we can give you the best possible cleaning.  Place items that are trash in the trash can.

As of this month, Veronica has been with us for two years — first as a cleaner and then as a team leader! Veronica takes good care of her team and always arrives at Carpe Diem in a timely manner.  She lives here in Durham where she raised her children and now has grandchildren who live near her, too! Thanks for being a quiet and dependable team leader, Veronica!

Kids’ Summer Activities that Aren’t the Pool

Summer break is now halfway over!  Are you beginning to run out of fun activities for your kids to do?  Today we will give you ideas for indoor and outdoor activities that will keep your kids busy and while they make great memories on the last stretch of these summer days.

Kids' Summer Activities that Aren't the Pool | Carpe Diem CleaningTake a Hike!

If you want to get out of the house and go on an adventure, then geo-caching is perfect for your family!  Use the GPS and compass apps on your phone to go on a real life treasure hunt.  Get the coordinates for caches near you at geocaching.com.

 

There are so many fantastic hiking trails in the Triangle including the Eno River State Park, Duke Forest, Bolin Creek Trail, Neuse River Trail, Umstead Park and more!  Going on a family hike involves less planning than geocaching but is still a fun way to see more of our beautiful state.   A color scavenger hunt around your neighborhood or town is another creative way to get exercise and look at familiar places in a different light.

Backyard Fun

Kids' Summer Activities that Aren't the Pool | Carpe Diem Cleaning

If you’re wanting to keep your kids busy in the back yard, then here are some ways that they can play hard and get dirty — without dirtying up your house!  Just make sure to hose them down before letting them come back inside. ;-)

Make moon sand in a large bin by mixing together 9 cups of flour and 1 1/4 cups of baby oil.  Add cookie cutters, sand castle molds and more to keep your kids entertained for hours.

You can also make bouncing bubbles and break up the day while mixing up an old favorite activity!  Simply mix 1 cup distilled water with 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 1 teaspoon of glycerin and use your favorite bubble blowing device.  If you want to make giant bubbles, simply 10x the recipe and use cut off old t-shirt sleeves to form bigger bubbles.  Who doesn’t love playing with bubbles?

A newspaper snowball fight is a fun way to get some energy out!  Just make sure to set ground rules, including clean up, before the “snow ball” fight begins.  Then give your kids old newspapers or mail flyers to ball up and have a pretend “snow ball” fight.  You can even make a spider web with painter’s tape and have them throw the newspaper balls at the web to see if they can get their newspaper to stick!

Kids' Summer Activities that Aren't the Pool | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Inside Adventures

Stuck inside on a rainy day?  Or do you just need extra activities to keep your kids busy during the heat of the day? We’ve got you covered!

Try making a laser beam obstacle course in a hallway or between a large couch and a wall.  Your kids will get their energy out while staying occupied in a confined space — that’s a win-win!  For longer-lasting results, involve your kids in making the obstacle course, and they’ll be able to fix it when the tape inevitably starts to come off the walls.

Everything is more fun inside of a blanket fort!  Whether your kids enjoy reading, playing board games, making Lego creations or more, making a blanket fort in your living room or in their room is a fun way to mix up their environment and make fun memories.

Does your child enjoy baking or playing with playdough?  Then try making Jell-O playdough and cookies with just one recipe!  If your child loves mixing ingredients, then you should try making rainbow slime.  Simply mix equal parts liquid starch and glue together, divide, and add food coloring!  If you really want to mix things up, you can add glitter or glow in the dark paint to your slime.

Bonus tip: Make a boredom buster jar filled with these ideas and others!  Simply list an activity (or a chore) on a piece of paper and put it in a jar.  When your child says, “I’m bored,” you can point them to the jar instead of figuring out what to do on the spot!

Communicating Scheduling Changes with Your Branch Office

clean oven

Hey!  This is Daly, Carpe Diem’s Branch Manager, checking in to remind you to communicate with your branch office this summer.

If you are on vacation and need to skip a week or add a deep cleaning or carpet cleaning to your regular cleaning, just let us know!

 

You can call the office 919-682-5326 or email info@carpediemcleaning.com to change the time of your cleaning.

Thanks and have a fantastic rest of your summer!

Best Places to Watch Fireworks in the Triangle

Best Places to Watch Fireworks in the Triangle | Carpe Diem CleaningIt’s almost that time again!  The 4th of July is always a great time to celebrate our country’s independence and the freedom that we enjoy year round.  What’s a better way to celebrate than by watching fireworks with friends and loved ones?

Today we’ll tell you where the best places to watch fireworks in the Triangle are so that you can pick the location nearest to you!

 

Best Places to Watch Fireworks in the Triangle | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Downtown Durham

Durham – Durham Bull’s Stadium

The Durham Bull’s Stadium will have fireworks after the games on July 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th this year.  Find this year’s schedule here.  Come out and cheer for the Durham Bulls (and Wooly Bull!) and stay after the game to see the fireworks!  The stadium will open to the public for free in the 7th inning, so if you’re not up for a whole baseball game, you can catch the end and still get a great seat.

 

Best Places to Watch Fireworks in the Triangle | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Kenan Stadium

Chapel Hill & Pittsboro – Kenan Stadium

If you’re in Chapel Hill on the 4th, head on over to Kenan Stadium, home of the Tar Heel football team, for the best seats!  Doors open at 7pm, and fireworks start at 9:30pm, and there will be a watermelon eating contest, face painting, music and more!

Check out their website for more information.

 

Best Places to Watch Fireworks in the Triangle | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Downtown Raleigh

Raleigh – Fayettville St.

Raleigh’s 4th of July celebration lasts all day long!  For a fun-filled day, come to Fayettville St. to hear music, watch street and aerial performers, check out the hot dog eating contest, kids’ zone, just to name a few.  This event will be held from noon to 11pm.  Fireworks will start around 9:30pm!

Find the schedule for the day on their website!

 

Make sure that you stay hydrated during these events by drinking plenty of water, and have a plan in place for parking your car before July 4th arrives.  Whether you celebrate 4th of July all day or just in the evening for fireworks, you’re sure to have a blast!

Interview with Assistant Manager Andi

 

This is Daly, Carpe Diem’s branch manager, checking in today with an interview of Andi on her two-year anniversary at Carpe Diem!

How did you start at Carpe Diem?
A friend told me about the job, and I originally applied to be a cleaner.  Eventually, I became a team leader and am now the assistant manager.  I’m in the office most days, but you’ll also see me in the field now and then!
What do you like about Carpe Diem?
I love my Carpe Diem co-workers!  Everyone has the opportunity to grow here as a person and within the company.  If you ever have a family emergency, you always have support from everyone!
Any advice for preparing your home for a cleaning?
My top tip for preparing your home for a cleaning is if you notice your shower glass doors with soap scum spray any type of de-greaser and let it sit. By the time the ladies get there, it would be much easier for them to clean.

As of this month, Andi has been with us for two years — first as a cleaner, then as a team leader, and now as our assistant manager!  She is a fantastic liason between our ladies in the field and in the office.  She fills in the gaps all the time, and we don’t know what we would do without her!  She lives here in Durham with her husband and three daughters.  Thanks for being a dedicated and helpful assistant manager, Andi!

15 Ways to Use Borax Around the House

Borax has dozens of uses, and today we have listed 15 of the most common ways to use it in your house!  Borax is an all natural cleaner whose mineral name is sodium borate.  It’s especially good at cleaning surfaces and clothes and keeping your home smelling fresh.  If you’re interested in using more natural cleaning products in your home, then Borax is a super cleaner that you’ll want to keep on hand!

15 Ways to Use Borax Around the House | Carpe Diem CleaningLaundry Room

Laundry SoapCheck out this blog post for the recipe or watch our video; this recipe makes 5 gallons!

Laundry Booster – Add 1/2 to 1 cup of borax to regular laundry detergent. This will also limit the effect of hard water on your clothes by removing hard water minerals.

 

Stain Remover – Mix 1 part borax with 2 parts water and soak the stain.  For extra stubborn stains, mix 1 cup of borax with 1/4 cup lemon juice (instead of water) before rinsing out with warm water.

Get rid of a musty smell – Soak clothes and linens in 1 cup of borax for every 1 quart of water for a few hours. Wash as normal.

15 Ways to Use Borax Around the House | Carpe Diem CleaningBathroom

Toilet cleaner – Mix 1/2 cup of borax to 1 gallon of warm water, and scrub all over and wipe it down.

Shower cleaner – Borax can be used like Comet.  Sprinkle it on a damp sponge and scrub down your bathtub and shower.

Soft Scrub – Mix 2 parts borax to 1 part dish soap, and you’ve got homemade soft scrub!

Homemade Drain-O – Pour 1/2 cup of borax into your drain.  Then pour 2 cups of boiling water down the drain (only if you know your pipes won’t melt!).  Let sit for 15 minutes before chasing it with 2 more cups of boiling water.

15 Ways to Use Borax Around the House | Carpe Diem CleaningKitchen

Surface cleaner – Mix 2 tablespoons with 2 cups of hot water and scrub with a sponge.

Clean stinky trash can – Fill your trashcan halfway with hot water in the tub, add 1 cup borax and scrub! Let dry, and it’ll be as good as new!

Drain cleaner – Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of borax in the drain then rinse with hot water 15 minutes later.

Water Spot Eliminator – Add 1 tablespoon of Borax to your dishwasher and your glasses should come out with no water spots.

15 Ways to Use Borax Around the House | Carpe Diem CleaningBonus Tips

Keep kitty litter fresh – Sprinkle a few tablespoons into kitty litter to eliminate odors.  This is safe as long as your cat doesn’t eat the borax.

Adhesive remover – Get sticky gunk, such as a sticker, off with 1 part borax and 2 parts water.  Let this mixture sit for several minutes before scrubbing it off.

Kill pests and weeds – Sprinkle borax wherever ants or roaches are coming into your home to eliminate them.  Sprinkle borax on weeds, but make sure that you don’t get it on your flowers or grass.  This works best with weeds that are coming up through cracks in your driveway and not around other plants that you want to keep alive.

*Warning- Borax can irritate your skin, so take caution when using it.  Also note that it is toxic when swallowed, so keep it far from kids and pets.

Carpe Diem Voted “Best in the Triangle” 2017!

Best of the Triangle 2017 Winners! | Carpe Diem CleaningWe are so excited to announce that Carpe Diem has been voted 2017’s “Best House Cleaners in Durham” AND “Best House Cleaners in Orange/Chatham” in The Independent Weekly’s “Best of the Triangle” competition!

This is actually the third year in a row that we’ve won this award, and we are so incredibly grateful for the support of our amazing clients, friends, and fans.

Click here to check out the rest of 2017’s Best Of winners!

Thank you so much for voting and showing your love and support, both for us and for other awesome local businesses! We couldn’t do what we do without you.

The Importance of Removing Pet Hair Effectively

Do you have a pet who you love SO MUCH but who just won’t stop shedding?  Do you want to keep your home free from pet hair but don’t know where to start?  Pet hair from our furry friends can cause allergies, clog up air vents and just keep you from enjoying your home to its fullest potential!  Today we’ll give you solutions for removing pet hair effectively.

Air FilterImportance of Removing Pet Hair

Do you have family members who struggle with allergies?  Allergies can reveal themselves in many forms, from tiredness to itchy and runny eyes and noses to skin irritations and even anaphylactic shock.  Pet dander can cause allergies which can be less severe but still frustrating.  No one wants to be sneezing or rubbing their eyes constantly in their own home.

One way to keep allergies at bay with a pet is to change air filters regularly as pet hair can clog up air vents.  When your vents aren’t circulating air properly, you will have less efficient air flow and more pet dander floating around!

How to Prevent Pet Hair in your Home

Let’s be honest. Pet hair is annoying, gets everywhere, and sometimes you just want to sit on your couch without being covered in fur!  The best way to keep your pets from shedding all over your house is to brush their fur regularly, especially outside!  For most pets, this means brushing their fur once per week in a normal week and three to four times per week during changes in seasons when they’re shedding heavily.  Not only will this help to keep hair at a minimum in your home, it will also keep your pet healthier as brushing distributes healthy oils from their skin onto their fur and will prevent their fur from matting.

Also, make sure that your pet is eating healthy food that will keep his/her fur in better shape…and less likely to shed.  Check with your vet for more specific grooming instructions for your fur baby!

Amazing Sh-mopWays to Remove Pet Hair

Unfortunately, any animal covered in fur is still going to shed, even if it’s well groomed.  Here are a few ways to remove pet hair without clogging your vacuum cleaner! Use a squeegee to remove it from upholstery in your home or car.  Firmly press the squeegee down as you pull it toward you, and watch in amazement with how much fur it gathers!

You can also wet your hands (either bare or with rubber gloves) and rub down the spots that have the most pet hair on them.  Attach a dryer sheet to your Swiffer (or use the amazing Sh-Mop!) to pick up pet hair from the floor without having to sweep.

What are your go-to ways of keeping pet hair at bay?  Need extra help keeping your floors clean?  Call Carpe Diem 919-682-5326 t0 schedule a free consultation today!

3 Reasons Why We Clean with Essential Oils

If you’ve had your home cleaned by Carpe Diem, you know that you’ll come home to a fresh smell on your clean day.  We use orange and lavender essential oils when cleaning our clients’ homes.  Not only do they smell great, but they have anti-bacterial and medicinal properties as well.

Did you know that olfactory nerves are the only ones that lead directly to the brain?  Scents have a direct influence on our brain, and the positive qualities of essential oils go directly to our brain which affects our whole body.

Anti-bacterial properties

Many essential oils, including orange and lavender, have antibacterial properties.  Using these oils in cleaning helps to ensure that your house is clean and disinfected.

Orange essential oil is also known to boost immunity and provide relief from inflammation.  It is a mood-lifter and even keeps insects away!  Lavender essential oil calms anxiety and provides relief from inflammation.  It is an antiseptic and an anti-fungal, which makes it perfect for cleaning.

Medicinal properties

We clean houses for many different kinds of clients, including cancer patients and people who are allergic to commercial cleaning products.  Using essential oils is our way of using a natural, even medicinal, product.  We would rather use essential oils because of their healing properties.  That way, we leave our clients homes better than we found them and not just cleaner.

If you’ve ever used Vicks VapoRub, you know that it helps to clear up congestion.  But did you know that eucalyptus essential oil is the main ingredient in Vicks VapoRub?  Essential oils help many people with allergies and sinus troubles to experience relief, and lavender is one oil that helps to relieve these symptoms.

Calm BedroomFresh, Clean Scent

Using essential oils leaves our clients’ houses feeling so much cleaner and fresher than when we arrived.  We don’t take for granted that our clients trust us with their most valuable asset–their home.  We want them to feel uplifted and calm when they come home on their clean day.  Our orange and lavender essential oils turn that desire into a reality.

Do you want some of these benefits from using essential oils, even when it’s not your clean day?  Try using disinfecting oils such as lemon, thyme, lime, cinnamon and peppermint.  You can use these in spot cleaning between clean days or in personal care items.  Or, diffuse your home with lavender, clary sage, eucalyptus, geranium and peppermint.  These will help with seasonal allergies and colds and will lift your mood, too!