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The Side Effects of Using Bleach | It’s Cleaning Time! | Austin, Texas Cleaning Company

Natural living tips from your local Austin cleaning company, It’s Cleaning Time!

Person Using Mop on Floor

To many people, bleach is the smell of “clean.” But bleach is toxic, and causes many accidents each year in households which harm small children, pets, and adults. Bleach can also form a noxious gas, which if inhaled can cause asthma, cancer, and DNA damage, among other illnesses. What are the side effects of using bleach? It’s Cleaning Time! is here to answer your questions! 

 

Side Effects of Inhaling Bleach Fumes 

Bleach releases poisonous fumes that can irritate your eyes and lungs. It is thought that bleaches that come in a gel form in as a thick liquid can produce the most harmful fumes.  While using bleach as directed, consumers will not typically be exposed to chlorine gas, but if the bleach mixes with other household chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine gas is produced. Some of the side effects of chlorine gas exposure are

  • Shortness of breath
  • Lung irritation
  • Fluid build up in lungs
  • Coughing

The severity of the side effects of chlorine gas exposure largely depends on the amount of chlorine gas and the length of exposure time, however, these side effects can be deadly. If you feel like you may have been exposed to chlorine gas, call poison control or 911.

 

If you have allergies, asthma, are elderly, or have an otherwise compromised immune system, you may notice that you are sensitive to bleach. Bleach is extremely irritating to your eyes, skin, and lungs. Children are even more at risk, with more sensitive lungs that are smaller and fill up with toxic fumes much faster. 

 

Children and Pets: The Dangers of Bleach Exposure 

In the United States, 50,000 cases of accidental bleach poisonings are reported each year, making bleach poisoning the number one cause of accidental poisonings in the country! Whether labeled incorrectly, or just within reach, it is a serious concern of any parent. Bleach poisoning in pets, which can occur through inhalation or because they lick their feet or fur after it has come into contact with cleaners containing bleach, can cause vomiting, convulsions, and death. 

 

Green Cleaning Bleach Alternatives 

As a professional cleaning service in Austin, the people in our community are our first priority. At It’s Cleaning Time, we use green cleaning alternatives to bleach that when we clean the homes and offices of our Austin, Texas clients. Our cleaning products are natural and nontoxic to pets and children. Have peace of mind that your home is not only clean, but free from harsh chemicals and toxins!

 

Interested in having your home professionally cleaned? Get in touch with a member of our team today for a free estimate!

 

 

 

Top Allergens in Austin, TX

Top Allergens in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is known for its beautiful weather and its … allergens? If you’re new to the area and haven’t heard the term ‘cedar fever,’ you are in for a wild ride! So, let’s get right to it – what are the most top allergens in Austin, Texas each season? 

 

Spring 

Spring, hot on the heels of winter’s famous cedar fever, has its own unique allergens. 

  • Tree pollen – While there are many types of tree pollen in Austin in the spring, including elm, ash, and pecan pollen, one of the top allergens in Austin, Texas is oak pollen. The oak pollen coats everything in a fine yellow powder, from buildings to cars. 
  • Cottonwood seeds – Many people mistake the fluffy ‘cotton’ from cottonwood trees as pollen, when it’s actually cottonwood seeds! Be sure to check your air conditioning intake and change your filters regularly as these pesky seeds can clog up vents. 
  • Smoke – Smoke from central America as well as the occasional forest fire can cause eye irritation in the spring in Austin. 
  • Dust – Although Africa is a long way away from Austin, the occasional dust storm makes its way to Texas. Be sure to check your local news station in the spring, especially if you have breathing issues, such as asthma.

Summer

As if the Texas heat wasn’t enough, you also have to deal with summer allergens in Austin. 

  • Grass – Because most people mow their lawns in the summer at least weekly in Austin, often with little rain, grass is one of the top allergens in Austin.
  • Mold – If there is rain, you may get a break from your grass allergy – but then get ready for the mold counts to explode. Mold is one of the most common allergens in the summertime in Austin, and the news will often give reports on the mold count in the air

 

Fall

Even though fall temperatures in Austin, Texas are usually upwards of 80 degrees fahrenheit, that won’t stop us from wearing scarves and jackets while we get our pumpkin spice lattes! While fall weather may be mild, that means that there is no break from allergens in the air. 

 

  • Ragweed – Ragweed is the most common allergens in the fall in Austin, releasing its pollen at night so early risers may feel particularly impacted. 
  • Pollen – If the weather remains mild in the fall, the same types of pollen from spring will be released again. 

Winter 

Winter is the holiday season, which in Austin, Texas means it’s also the season for the dreaded ‘cedar fever.’

 

  • Cedar – The cedar trees in Austin love to celebrate the holiday season with firework-like displays where you can watch clouds of the dreaded cedar pollen explode from the trees on particularly nice days. If you are new to Austin, you are even more likely to experience ‘cedar fever,’ which causes flu-like symptoms such as severe headaches, body aches, fatigue and congestion. 

 

 

Whether you’re new to Austin, Texas, or a born and raised local, being aware of the top allergens in Austin, Texas for each season will allow you to prepare yourself when you go outdoors. 

 

Get ahead of allergies! Schedule a deep clean (or regular cleaning) with your Austin cleaning company to reduce the amount of allergens in your environment. 

Five Alternatives to Chemical Cleaning

Five Alternatives to Chemical Cleaning

Five Alternatives to Chemical Cleaning

Maid Service – House Cleaning in Austin, TX

As a green cleaning company in Austin, Texas, we’re all about living a more natural, chemical-free lifestyle. If you are trying to eliminate the amount of chemicals you use to clean your home – we can help!

 

Going green when it comes to cleaning is a great idea, especially if you have children, or pets. Using all natural, chemical-free cleaning products gives you a safer, healthier, more eco-friendly clean. Using those commercial cleaners that contain harmful chemicals can be dangerous. Think making the switch is hard? Think again! There are so many great alternatives to chemical cleaning around your home! Most the the things you would use to substitute are, most likely, right in your home!

 

Clean Your Toilet Naturally

Commercial toilet bowl cleaner always has a pretty pungent odor, and some of those store-bought cleaners contain bleach. Not only is bleach not good for the porcelain that your toilet is likely made of, but it can also be dangerous if inhaled. Instead, take a mixture of vinegar and essential oils, and spray it into your toilet. After letting this set for a few minutes, sprinkle in some baking soda and scrub.

 

All Natural Window Cleaner

If you don’t know by now, vinegar is a super cleaner and can be used to clean so many different things, and so many different surfaces. Even glass! Simply make a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, spray your glass and wipe clean with a soft clean towel.

 

How to Naturally Clean Hardwood Floors

Did you know you can clean your hardwood floors with tea bags? That’s right! They clean your wood floors while also adding a bit of shine and luster. How? Boil some water, and let a couple of bags of Black tea soak, for several minutes. You are basically just brewing yourself some tea – only instead of drinking it, soak a clean rag in it, wring it out, and wash your floors.

 

Chemical-Free Air Fresheners

Commercial air fresheners that you get from the store, usually contain chemicals. Some of which can actually be harmful if inhaled. The solution is simple: make some yourself! Homemade air fresheners are quick, easy, and inexpensive. And there are so many different fragrances you can make! With some water, your favorite essential oils, and some witch hazel, you are all set to DIY. Combine 50% witch hazel with 50% water and a few drops of essential oil into a spray bottle and spray.

 

Natural Stainless Steel Cleaner

An alternative for cleaning your stainless steel is probably the simplest of all! Simply fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. Spray onto your stainless steel appliances, and with a gentle touch, wipe with the direction of the grain.

 

Alternatives to chemical cleaning products are easy to find and easy to use; so the next time you want to reach for those chemical filled cleaners, opt to go natural instead. For the low cost of a few minutes of your time, you can easily find a substitute for most anything, that will clean safely, and naturally.

 

If you are looking for an eco-friendly cleaning company to perform regular cleaning services in Austin or the surrounding areas, contact a member of our team today. We offer deep cleans, bi-weekly and weekly cleanings, move out cleans, industrial cleans, and even medical office cleaning services.

 

It’s Cleaning Time!

11615 Rustic Rock Drive

Austin, TX 78750

(512) 751-0565

 

Seven Uses for Vinegar for a Greener, Cleaner Home

Seven Uses for Vinegar for a Greener, Cleaner Home

 

Maid Service – House Cleaning in Austin, TX

It is widely known that vinegar is a super cleaner (and if you don’t use it to clean your home – you sure will after this)! It can also be used for other things around the home, as well as be used as a hair and skin treatment. How many things can you actually do with vinegar? Your cleaning company in Austin, Texas is here to share some of the best uses for vinegar in your home.

 

Vinegar as a Multi-Surface Dust Cleaner

First and foremost, vinegar is commonly used as a chemical-free cleaning agent that acts as a disinfectant and debridement. With its antifungal and antibacterial properties, vinegar can be used to clean almost everything from  windows, to walls, to toilets to the kitchen counters. – and virtually any other surface in your home. (Make sure you are switching out your cleaning rag!) Filling a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water is natural, eco-friendly, and a much safer alternative to those chemical-packed household cleaners you get from the store.

 

Vinegar for Pet Stains

Austin, Texas is a very pet-friendly city, and as a green cleaning company in Austin, Texas, we have cleaned our share of pet hair, pawprints, and stains. If you have pets in your home, you know what a mess they can cause. Especially if you have a pet that is either very young, very old, or has some sort of disability. Vinegar is superb for cleaning when it comes to pet stains; simply saturate the pet stain (without making the area soggy), sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on top and wait for that sizzle. Then comes the waiting game – cover the area with a bowl (this is so you don’t forget where it is.and baking soda isn’t being tracked through your house), and wait for the solution to work, and everything to dry up. After the wait is over, scoop up the majority of the baking soda, toss it, and then vacuum up anything that remains. The pet stain should be gone, without having to do much, if any, any scrubbing.

 

Using Vinegar as a Glass Cleaner

That’s right! Vinegar can even be used to clean your glass! Get a streak-free clean by spraying undiluted white vinegar onto your glass surface (even mirrors), and wipe clean with a clean dry cloth. A simple and chemical-free cleaning product for your glass.

 

Other Uses for Vinegar

Vinegar is a multi-faceted natural substance, and its uses don’t stop at cleaning your home. Here are some other uses for vinegar that may replace the chemical products in your cabinets.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar For Skin

Did you know that Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is good for your skin? It has anti-inflammatory properties and it consists of acetic acid and alpha hydroxy acid. This means that ACV can absorb excess oils, unclog blocked pores and exfoliate your skin!

 

Use Vinegar to Remove Hair Product Build Up

Apple Cider Vinegar is not only good for your skin, but also good for your hair! Successfully and naturally remove product buildup from your hair by mixing 1 cup of ACV to 2 cups of warm water in a bottle and shake to mix. Wash your hair like you would with your regular shampoo. After your wash, towel dry your hair and apply the mixture from root to tip, and let sit for 3-4 minutes. Finally, rinse and condition like normal.

 

Kill Weeds & Grass with Vinegar

Don’t waste your money on those expensive (and very bad for the environment) weed and grass killers. Pour a mixture of white vinegar and epsom salt on your unwanted vegetation. Problem solved!

 

Using Vinegar to Clean Your Coffee Maker

An appliance that is used probably more often than others, but probably forgotten about when it comes to regular cleaning. Using vinegar to clean your coffee pit is easier than you think! Simply fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run the coffee maker through a regular brewing cycle (some have a special “clean” setting). When the cycle is done, rinse out the carafe and run a brewing cycle with clean water, to rinse away any vinegar residue (but don’t forget to check your manufacturer’s care instructions).

 

Commercial chemical cleaning products can be damaging to your body and home as well as the environment. The next time you want to go for those expensive household cleaners, weedkillers, face wash, etc, just remember, that vinegar does almost everything. If you have any questions about other green cleaning products or how to transition to a greener, cleaner lifestyle, your friends at It’s Cleaning Time!, Austin, Texas cleaning company is here to help!

 

It’s Cleaning Time!

11615 Rustic Rock Drive

Austin, TX 78750

(512) 751-0565

 

Cleaning Tips For The Holidays!

Cleaning Tips For The Holidays!

With holidays creeping in on us, you may be starting to panic about getting your home “guest ready.” And with that holiday to-do list seeming to grow everyday, finding the time to clean can almost seem impossible. Don’t fret! It’s really not as hard as you think to make sure everything is in tip top shape (or at least make it seem that way). So whether you’re preparing for Thanksgiving guests, or Christmas guests, we have some tips to help take some the the stress out of the equation.

Tidy Up

Before you start on cleaning anything, the first thing you should tackle, is tidying up. Picking up the clutter can make your home seem cleaner right off the bat. When you are cleaning up, and finding a place for everything that needs one, go from left to right around the room. By doing this, you know that every on the left has been deemed a tidy, clutter-free zone, and everything to the right, still needs to be worked on. Try also, to space out the days, as to not get burnt out, or overwhelmed with what all needs to be done. Most importantly, start on the most difficult, and most important rooms! This way, if you run out of time, it will be okay if you didn’t get to your home office, or that small craft nook off of your living room.

One Room At A Time

When you’re starting your cleaning up, another trick to not get yourself overwhelmed is, try not to bounce from room to room. Do one room at a time. Once again, start with the most important rooms first. Once you feel satisfied with your work, check it off and move on to the next room! Then you won’t have to worry about if you got everything done. You know, that the room you just left, is a completed task! This can help put your mind at ease, give you a feeling of accomplishment.

Hit The Kitchen – HARD

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in you home during the holiday season if you are having guests. Start your holiday cleaning in your kitchen, and spend the most time on this room.

  • Make sure you have a space for holiday entertaining. Tuck away all the kitchen items you won’t be using. This knocks out the “clutter” you won’t need in the kitchen, and you can use that space for things such as punch bowls, serving dishes, and other holiday goodies.
  • Clean your stove top, and grates
  • Wipe down all appliances – large and small
  • Wipe down kitchen cabinets
  • Clean and shine your sinks
  • Clean any trash cans
    • You can even sprinkle baking soda in them to absorb any lingering odors
  • Before the big day, make sure you clean out your fridge to make room for party foods.

To make sure you keep things cleaned up before guests come, wash any dishes you use right after using them. Also make sure to keep your kitchen counters wiped down.

Guest Bathroom

You always want to make sure the bathroom your guest will using, is sparkly clean! Make sure you wipe down any cabinets, clean the toilets, sinks, and the bathtub and/or shower. It’s always nice to even have a little basket filled with essential toiletries they may have forgotten, or things they might need. Things such as, a toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton swabs, pain relievers, etc.

Having a little “spa gift basket” ready for your guests is also a nice touch! Fill it with things like bath salt, bath bombs, new loofahs, soaps and lotions.

Don’t forget to make sure your bathroom has fresh towels on the shelf, shampoo, conditioner and razors in the tub, a basket for used linens and towels. Finally, why not brighten it up with some fresh flowers, holiday scented soaps, and fun holiday decor!

Clean The Carpets Ahead of Time

Don’t shampoo your carpets the day of! When you clean your carpets, it takes them at least 24 hours to dry completely. So make sure that if you do this, it’s at least a day or two before your guests are supposed to arrive. This way, no ones feet are getting wet from damp carpets. It also gives the chance for that awkward “just shampooed” smell to dissipate.

Holidays are supposed to be a time for family, friends, and having a good time. Don’t let the preparation of having guests bring you down. And if you need a hand, Austin, Texas cleaning company ‘It’s Cleaning Time!’ is always there to help out!

Happy Holidays, and happy cleaning!

Carpet Cleaning – The EcoFriendly Way

Carpet Cleaning – The EcoFriendly Way

Have you been spending hundreds of dollars on expensive commercial brand carpet cleaners? Well did you know that some of your favorite brands contain ingredients such as  perchloroethylene? This is a popular chemical used in dry cleaning, which is known to cause nausea, dizziness and fatigue

If you’re looking for a way to get a better clean, and doing it in a healthier, eco-friendly way, you can do it with ingredients you probably have right in your home! All you need is white vinegar, and baking soda – two of the best natural super cleaners around.

Deciding to switch to eco-friendly carpet cleaning is a great choice. Especially if you have children or furry friends in your home. Not to mention, baking soda and vinegar are awesome cleaners and odor eliminators for those stubborn pet stains and smells.

Before you are ready to clean your carpets, take a minute to sprinkle a very generous amount of baking soda on the area of carpet you are going to clean. Do this as far in advance as possible. Since baking soda actually absorbs odors, instead of just masking them, the longer you let it sit the better.

Now, rather than putting one of those chemical filled commercial detergents in your carpet cleaner, fill the “Solution” compartment with white vinegar (if your cleaner already mixes the added solutions with water, there is no need to dilute it).

After you’ve let the baking soda sit for awhile, clean your carpets as normal! As you do, you should hear the faint fizzle of the vinegar and baking soda reacting, as it gets your carpet super clean!

With your favorite eco-friendly Austin, Texas cleaning company by your side, you will always have the best tips and tricks to keep your home healthy and clean – the green way!

Happy Cleaning!

Green Cleaning & Your FurFriends

Green Cleaning & Your FurFriends

Having pets in your home can sometimes get a little crazy. From new puppies, to your oldest and dearest fur-friends, accidents can be had and messes can be made. Just having pets in your home can cause a collection of hair and a buildup of dander. When you’re living with furbabies, it’s a must to keep things clean.

However, have you ever thought about the products you are using to clean your home? A lot of commercial cleaners are full of chemicals that can be harmful, and sometimes poisonous, to your pets. Odors can also cause an issue and can be quite bothersome (think about how strong the smell of bleach is).

While humans only have about six million olfactory receptors, your canine friend has up to 300 million! That makes Fido’s sense of smell about 40 times stronger than our own.

Vinegar is always a great natural cleaner to use in your home with you have pets. In can be used in place of those expensive carpet cleaning shampoos. It can also be used a an odor eliminator! Just combine lemon juice and white vinegar in a spray bottle, and spray on those lingering, unpleasant, smells. It will destroy odors and the scent of vinegar will disappear once dry. This even works on those stubborn kitty odors!

Your lemon vinegar mixture is also a great power combo for cleaning up messes, or even just for simple wipe downs when you’re trying to keep pet dander under control.

When you choose to go green with your cleaning products, it will be safer and healthier for you and your pet. So consider making the change to eco-friendly products. Your fur-friend will thank you for it.

Your Austin, Texas green cleaning company is always there for you, too, to provide a deep clean or regularly scheduled cleaning, to help you keep your home dander free and fresh!

Happy Cleaning!

Kids and Crayon Art

Kids and Crayon Art

Having small children who are still learning about this great big beautiful world, can get pretty messy sometimes! And as a parent, you don’t want to restrict their will to explore, or their appetite to create! But– what about when your little artist wants to turn your walls into their canvas? Don’t fret, because your favorite green cleaning Austin, Texas company It’s Cleaning Time! has a great solution!

While some things like marker, or even paints, can be a bit easier to clean up, that waxy crayon art can sometimes cause a bit an issue. But what you didn’t know, is that it’s not as hard to clean up as you thought. Furthermore, when you are using eco friendly cleaning products, it will be healthier for you and your family.

Using white vinegar as a household cleaner is a great choice. And since it’s a super cleaner you can make a safe bet, that it’s going to be great for cleaning up that unwanted art off your painted walls. The acidity in the vinegar breaks down the wax, and the pigment components of the crayon, but remember to always test in on a small area to make sure it won’t react badly to the surface.

To clean up your little ones displaced handiwork, simply dip a toothbrush in undiluted white vinegar and scrub away. Once you’ve removed the undesirable artwork, just wipe the wall clean with a damp cloth. Don’t worry about any left over vinegar odors – once it dries, the smell will dissipate.

If the vinegar doesn’t react well with your walls, give non-gel toothpaste a try. Countless parents have found this trick successful. It can even triumphantly remove marks created but that dreaded permanent marker! Just scrub the mess with toothpaste using your handy dandy cleaning toothbrush, or even just a rag. Wipe clean with a damp rag, and you’re done.

So take it from your favorite Austin cleaning company – next time your kiddos decide to stray from the paper, don’t worry! It can be cleaned up easily – in a green, eco friendly. way that is better for your family, and home.

Happy Cleaning!

 

Vinegar: The Natural Super Cleaner! | Austin Home Cleaning Company

Things you should clean- EVERY day!

Things you should clean- EVERY day!

There are certain things in your home that you should never leave uncleaned, no matter what, not even for a day. These things only take moments to tackle. Take it from your favorite Austin, Texas green cleaning company- you will live in a cleaner home for taking on these simple daily cleaning tasks!

1) Make Your Bed

While it isn’t exactly “cleaning” per say, taking care of this simple task every morning will set your day on the right track with a sense of accomplishment right out of the gate (er.. bed)!

2) Nightstand

This may be an easy one to forget about, but it should never be left out. Letting dust accumulate can mean you will be inhaling it while you sleep. Take a second to quickly wipe down this small area to keep dust and grime from building up.

3) Dishes

Let’s face it, nobody likes to do dishes; but it is a chore that, if let undone, can pile up quick! If you take a few minutes to hand wash the dishes after each meal, or even just make sure they are rinsed and put away in the dishwasher (even if there isn’t enough for a full load), getting them done won’t seem nearly as daunting, than if you wait to do them all at once.

4) Kitchen Counters & Sink

This takes only a minute or 2 and will make your whole kitchen seem much cleaner!

5) Sweep the Kitchen Floor

We use our kitchens a lot. And the kitchen is the first place bugs will invade when cleanliness is slipping, this is why it is so important to make sure you keep up on it. And, while you don’t have to mop everyday, sweeping up crumbs will not only keep the bugs at bay, but it will help keep you from tracking food particles into other rooms of your home.

6) Coffee Maker

If you are an avid coffee drinker, it is important to keep your coffee maker in tiptop shape! You should always make sure to rinse out your pot, and empty out the old coffee grounds after you use it.

7) Bathroom Sinks & Counters

No one wants to be greeted by globs of old toothpaste every morning. Take a couple seconds to rinse out and wipe down the sink and counter after you brush those pearly whites!

8) Litter Box

If you’re a cat person, you know the importance of keeping that kitty happy! Making sure to scoop the litter box daily will help to keep odors down, and keep your pussycat from finding another place to use the potty!

Staying on top of these tasks will keep you, your family, and your home clean, happy and healthy!

Happy Cleaning!

Small Bathroom Organization

Small Bathroom Organization

Do you have a small bathroom? Even if you do, don’t let that get you down! Housekeeping Austin Texas company, It’s Cleaning Time!, is full of ideas for great ways to organize and utilize the limited space you have.

First and foremost, making use of vertical space is always a good idea; especially if you don’t have much counter space. To do this, try an over the toilet storage rack to hold things like towels, and small bins for your toiletries (you can find all kinds, in so many colors at any dollar store!). The small bins are great for holding things such as Q-tips, cotton balls, loofahs, lotions, and more! Another way you can use this rack, is to hang an over the door metal hook over the side to hang a hand towel.

Over-the-shower-head organizers are another great item to help you organize your small bathroom. This also clears up the edges of your bathtub. Not only does this make things look clean and neat, but this clears up the space where things could easily be bumped off while you’re showering– which can get quite annoying when you’re just trying to get clean!

Now as for your counter space… If you are a lady with an extensive makeup collection, you can find a stylish makeup cup to put your favorite brushes, mascaras, and eyeliner in for quick access. Look for a cup that matches your soap dispenser to make it look more like it belongs. On the other side of your counter, throw some of your go to makeup items like powder, concealer, lipsticks, and body spray, into your favorite makeup bag, and slide it into the corner out of the way. Doing these things will keep your counter clear of makeup clutter.

Finally, it’s time to organize the cabinet under your sink! Here is a great place to use those dollar store storage bins, for things like mouth wash, your hairdryer, first-aid items. Get one big enough for your bathroom items, but small enough to slide your toilet paper in next to it. You could even opt for some over-the-door organizers for some of your extra makeup items, extra shampoos, hair product, etc.

A small bathroom doesn’t have to be a cluttered one. And if you try out some of these ideas to keep things neatened up, you will be able to optimize the space you have!

Happy organizing!

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