Cleaning Tips From the Pros


I’ve been so busy washing my hands, disinfecting door knobs and “high touch” surfaces, that I haven’t paid enough attention to my car (which is my staging area for wiping down groceries!). I turned to the cleaning pros at A La Maid for some advice. 

Keeping Your Car Clean for COVID-19

You may clean your house regularly, but what about your car?

Chances are, like many of us, since the outbreak of COVID-19 you have stepped up your cleaning routine and have been diligently cleaning and disinfecting your household’s surfaces, switches, knobs, and handles. But what about those high touch surfaces in your car?

Many of us still rely on our vehicles to get us to work (if work’s not now at home), to get to the – petri dish – grocery store, or to see a doctor in the event of a real emergency. In the process of any one of these car trips, there are countless opportunities to collect germs. On the queen of clean, Martha Stewart’s website, an article cites studies that “32% of Americans clean the inside of their cars just once per year—and 12% reported that they’ve never done so at all.”
So what have we learned? Cars are dirty and prime places for the virus to stick to touchy surfaces. Of course not all surfaces can be treated the same in your car as within your home. And while you might have hired a local service like A la Maid to properly clean and disinfect your home, you’re probably the one cleaning the inside of your vehicle.

The following is a list of dos and don’ts for cleaning and disinfecting your car for COVID-19:

DO: You can use a disinfectant spray or wipes on most automobile surfaces according to the American Cleaning Institute. Alcohol solutions that contain at least 70 percent alcohol are effective against coronavirus, according to the CDC and are also safe for most surfaces of a vehicle.

DON’T: You don’t want to just wipe or spray and drive away. Be sure to allow the product or wipe to air dry according to its label in order to maximize its disinfecting power.

DO: Hit all of your car’s high touch surfaces, including the steering wheel, door handles, shift stick, any buttons or touch screens, wiper and turn signal handles, passenger and driver door armrests, grab handles, and seat adjusters, according to Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center.

DON’T: Bleach and hydrogen peroxide should not be used on the inside of your car. While they can both kill coronaviruses on surfaces, they can also wreak havoc on your vehicle’s surfaces and upholstery. Also, avoid using any ammonia-based cleaners on car touch screens.

DO: Good old soap and water are safe for most car interiors, particularly for fabrics and leather.

DON’T: You don’t want to overlook the less obvious areas of your vehicle such as the top of the dashboard, a prime landing space for catching unexpected coughs or sneezes that could send microorganisms airborne inside the vehicle’s cabin, sticking to the windshield and dash only to be re-circulated through the air.

The bottom line and best overall advice around though, washing your hands thoroughly is one of the most effective ways to prevent transmission of the virus, in and out of your vehicle. Remembering to practice good hand hygiene after every drive can prevent germs and viruses from taking a ride into your home and to others.



And here’s some helpful advice on hiring a cleaning service for your home:


Questions to ask Before Booking a Deep Cleaning Service

Keeping your home clean is more important than ever as we all do our part to fight the battle against COVID-19. After what seems like an extended winter with most of us essentially hibernating at home, you might be thinking it’s about time for a thorough late-spring cleaning. But if the thought of a DIY deep clean seems overwhelming, you might want to consider hiring a professional service. Cleaning is essential, and there are professional, high-quality companies that are doing critical work one clean home at a time.

That being said, should you decide to hire, you’ll understandably want to feel that your cleaning company is taking every precaution to protect you and your loved ones when they enter your home. It’s a good idea to ask what measures are in place to keep all parties safe. Here are a few things to look for that are specific to preventing COVID-19 exposure:

• Protective Gear – masks, gloves, shoe coverings and coveralls are the industry standard right now.
• Disinfectant Power – do they use a product that is EPA approved to kill coronaviruses?
• Employee Health Screening – what is the company’s policy for employees who show symptoms of illness/return to work after illness?
• Equipment – does the team carry its own equipment or can you have them use your own if preferred?
• COVID Response Training – In the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, companies, such as A la Maid are training their employees through the Global Biorisk Advisory Council. GBAC developed trainings which train and educate all employees on how to best prepare, respond and recover from biohazards and infection, as well as how to implement proper contamination control measures.

Make sure you ask if employees have undergone the training – it is important!

Once you’ve screened for basic protective measures, you’ll want to dig a little deeper. Here is a bit of Q&A to consider:

How long has the company been in business?
Is this a novel startup or are they veterans in the field? Experience matters. Check out the business’s website and take the time to confirm their starting date. You can find this out through the Better Business Bureau, local chamber of commerce, or the state licensing bureau for its operating license.

Are customers recommending them?
Read reviews online and check to see if there is an approval rating offered on their website or anywhere online, but be careful which sites you use as some review platforms like Yelp hide a majority of the reviews!

What services are offered vs. what services you expect…
This is where having an in-home estimate (if possible) could be valuable to determine the exact scope of the services you need and see if that matches up with what the company can deliver. This is the time to discuss any additional chores above a regular cleaning routine, laundry or window washing for example. Be sure to have all of this in writing before getting started.

What products do they use and who supplies them?
While many cleaning teams arrive with a full arsenal of cleaning products and equipment, all services are not created equal. And if anyone in your home has allergies or other sensitivities, be sure to inform your cleaning services which products to avoid. Specify if you have specific product requests or would like the team to use your equipment only.

Are background checks performed prior to hire and is the company licensed and insured?
You will feel more confident allowing a cleaning team into your sacred space knowing that your home/belongings, your family, and your pets will be safe when staff members enter your home.

Get clarification about the process and the cost.
Many cleaning services begin with an initial deep cleaning that may cost more than what would be your regular “maintenance plan” should you book recurring service. Make sure you understand the fees for both types of service and be clear about how much you can budget for.

Do they offer personalized service to meet your needs?
Every home is unique and you want your cleaning service to be tailored to meet your home and your family’s needs. Ask if you can designate areas to be cleaned and set clear expectations. Look for a service that provides support and detailed work orders to the cleaning teams.

Finally, remember that this is the start of a very personal and – with any luck – long term relationship. Don’t be afraid to shop around and meet with company representatives prior to making a commitment. For more information on local cleaning service, or if you have any questions at all please visit