How to Fake a Clean House in a Hurry

  • Today we want to share an article from Enjoy!

 Happy December from ServiceMaster of the Burnsville and Eagan Area. We proudly provide residential and commercial carpet, window, and duct cleaning; plus fire, water, smoke, vandalism, and trauma cleanup.We are all about clean here at ServiceMaster, but everyone has panic moments when real clean is just not an option. Maybe you just got a text that from your in-laws. Surprise! They'll be at your house in 30 minutes. Don't panic! Your house doesn't have to be clean. It just has to seem clean. Here are some tips on how to fake a clean house when the clock is ticking. 

  1. Before you do anything else, light a scented candle. The pleasing aroma will fill the house as you clean and cover any tell-tale smells of leftovers or dirty laundry. If your house smells nice, people will assume it's pretty clean.
  2. Now, grab a bag for trash or recycling. Start in your main living area. Toss or recycle school papers, newspapers, ads, and any other paper clutter. Put important papers on the coffee table for now. Move without stopping from room to room covering the whole house. Gather the important papers and shove them into a drawer to be filed or otherwise dealt with later. 5 Minutes.
  3. Next, grab a laundry basket. Start back in your main living area and pick up toys and shoes and anything that doesn't belong in that room, or you just don't know where to put it. Throw it in the basket. Again don't stop moving! You can put everything where it goes later. Move briskly around the house in this fashion removing all clutter from the floor and flat surfaces. Stash the basket in your bedroom closet. 5 minutes.
  4. Now, grab a damp cloth. Spritz it with a multi-purpose cleaner and swiftly wipe down all flat surfaces. Make sure you cover your coffee table, dining room table, and kitchen counters. These surfaces are what people notice. 5 minutes
  5. After the flat surfaces are clean, head to the bathroom with a couple of paper towels and a bottle of Windex. Toss any counter clutter into a box or basket under the sink. Spray Windex directly onto the paper towel and spot clean the mirror. Wipe down the counter and faucet. Then using the same paper towel hit up the toilet. Wipe the handle, tank, seat and lid. If you have little boys, grab another paper towel and clean around the base using the Windex. Close the shower curtain to hide toys, shampoos, razors, etc. All of this should take less than 5 minutes.
  6. If you have a sink full of dishes quickly throw them into the dishwasher if it is already empty. If not, stack the dishes onto a sheet pan and hide them in the oven. Or, if you only have a sink full, plug up the sink and fill with enough sudsy water to cover the dishes. Not to wash them; you don't have time for that now. Just to cover the smell and crusted on food so when company shows up it looks like you were in the middle of washing them. 5 minutes.
  7. Vacuum or sweep the main living area without bothering to move any furniture. Fluff up the sofa pillows and arrange them in a pleasing way. Fold the throw neatly and drape it over the back of the couch! Tada! Your dirty house can pass for clean! Total 30 minutes.

 Here is the link to the original article.

Tips for Keeping Your Energy Bill Down

  ServiceMaster of Burnsville is a proud member of this community. We provide carpet, window and duct cleaning; water and fire damage restoration; and vandalism and trauma cleanup. It's the time of year when energy bills skyrocket in Minnesota. Follow these smart tips to keep you energy bill down. First of all,  Maintain Your Stuff.

  • Get your furnace a check-up each at the beginning of the cold season. Nothing is worse that a dead heater in the middle of a Minnesota winter.
  • Change your filters. When your furnace filter becomes clogged with dust and other particulate matter, it has to work harder to produce less heat. 
  • Protect your pipes. Most hardware stores carry these cheap, easy to install pipe insulation tubes

 2nd, Keep Icy Air OUT.

  • If new windows aren’t in the budget, make your old windows winter tight. Purchase inexpensive weather-proofing kits from your local hardware store or here. If you really want to keep the icy wind at bay, purchase a roll of bubble wrap. Use double sided tape to adhere it to the window frame, then go ahead and use the kit over the top. Windows love layers too!
  • Speaking of layers and windows, curtains go a long ways toward keeping the cold out. They even make insulating curtains for extra protection.
  • Use draft dodgers to keep the winter chill from seeping in around your door frames. If you are crafty you could even make to match your decor. Even a rolled up towel will suffice in a pinch.

 Finally, Be Smart About It.

  • Reverse your ceiling fans. Fans should spin counter-clockwise in the summer to push cool air down. In the winter, fans should spin clockwise to pull cool air up and force warm air that is trapped on the ceiling down around the walls.
  • Turn your thermostat down a little. Keeping you thermostat between 68 and 70 degrees can significantly reduce your energy bill. For tips on staying warm without turning up your thermostat read this article.
  • Close heating vents in seldom used rooms. Why heat rooms you don't spend time in?
  • Take advantage of the sun. Open the curtains on south-facing windows during the day, when the sun is shining. Keep them closed to keep heat in when it’s not.


How Co clean Grease or Oil Stains from Upholstery or Carpet.

ServiceMaster of Burnsville and Eagan is happy to provide professional upholstery cleaning in addition to serving your carpet cleaning and damage restoration needs.

Mmmmm Pizza. Not to mention salad dressing, peanut butter, and fried foods. We all love our greasy, oily treats. But what do you do when your late night snack ends up on your carpet or upholstery?  Here are 5 steps to keep your carpet and upholstery looking new.

Removing Oil Stains and Grease Stains From Upholstery

Step 1) Blot up as much of the oil or grease as you can using paper towels. Don’t rub! Rubbing could spread the stain.

Step 2) Pour a highly absorbent powder such as cornstarch or baking soda onto the affected area to absorb remaining oil.

Step 3) Vacuum the upholstery or carpet to remove the absorbent powder. Your may need to repeat this step several times if – say- you dropped  a pan of bacon grease, or some other epic grease mishap.

Step 4) If you still see grease, you can use a very small amount of dry cleaning solvent on a white cloth. Gently blot until the solvent is absorbed.* Once the stain is gone use a very small amount of cold water on a clean white cloth to remove any remaining solvent.

 *Note: Check the upholstery tag. If there is an S on it you can use dry cleaning solvent to safely remove stains. Also, be sure to spot test a small, out of the way piece of carpet to make sure it is color fast.

Step 5) If you still see grease on your carpet or upholstery, it’s time to call in the pros. The friendly and highly trained technicians of ServiceMaster of Burnsville and Eagan are here for you and all your upholstery and carpet stains.

And this picture is just here for fun. Minnesota State Fair anyone?


Sump Pump Tips

ServiceMaster this time of year receives a high volume of sump pump related water damage calls.

Here are some tips Via the American Family Insurance website for preventing this type of loss.

Inside the home:

  • Install a battery back up for the sump pump
  • Check the sump pump yearly to make sure it is working by following these simple steps;
    • Remove the cover from the sump pump pit
    • Make sure the drain hose is connected properly
    • Slowly pour water into the pit
    • Fill the pit until the float rises high enough to activate the pump
    • If the pump does not work, call a professional to repair
  • Install a sewer backflow check valve if sewage has ever backed up through the floor drain

Outside the home:

  • Install window well covers
  • Have proper drainage away from the foundation of the home
  • Remove all trees growing next to the foundation – the roots can crack the foundation walls allowing water to enter
  • Install gutters and downspouts – keep them clean
  • Install downspout extensions if water from the downspout collects near the foundation


For coverage related information consult this previous blog:

How Often Should I Vacuum?

The answer?

It depends.

The recommendation given by the carpet and rug institute is one time per week per person and per pet.

For example: a household with 4 people and 2 dogs should be vacuuming their carpeting 6 times per week.

Is this realistic? Probably not. But this does give a baseline for routine carpet maintenance. And maintaining a healthy carpet, in regards to the removal of soil particles and pet dander, not only lends itself to the aesthetic value of your home, but it also will help to increase the indoor air quality of your home. Carpeting is the biggest indoor air-filter you have. Keeping it free of soil particles and pet dander helps you breathe easier. It will also help you protect your pricey investment and aid it in lasting beyond the average lifespan of 8-10 years.

The next best way to protect that investment and help ensure your indoor health? A periodic deep carpet cleaning.

The recommended schedule for this?

Every 12-18 months. Again, this is a baseline. Depending on indoor foot-traffic and depending upon the number of pets within the household, this may be required more often, in order to uphold the lifespan and the value of the carpeting.

For these tasks, trust your professional cleaning experts at ServiceMaster.


Want a Free bottle of SpotHero?

In-case you’re unaware of what this product provides— it is an easy-to-use effective carpet and upholstery spotter. And, ServiceMaster SpotHero also works on laundry.

Here’s how you get a free bottle of it…

ServiceMaster representatives will be on hand for this year’s Spring Home Improvement & Design Expo, Saturday 4/12/14. The event is being held at the Veterans Memorial Community Center @ 8055 Barbara Avenue, Inver Grove Heights MN, 55077. The show hours are 10am – 5pm. Our booth is # 323.

For more information on the event itself, click here:

Come & visit our tent, chat it up and learn more about our services and coverage areas, and (of course) receive something useful for free…1 free bottle of SpotHero.Also, mention this posting or our Facebook post regarding this event and receive 25% off any of our residential services.

For more information on our residential services, click here:




…our way of saying “thank you” for allowing us the opportunity to improve the appearance and the health of your home.

Kare11 & Water Damage

The snow melts, but the ground is still frozen. The melt turns your lawn soggy, but still it’s not absorbing enough to eliminate the runoff completely. So where does it go? Well, hopefully not the basement. By way of Kare 11 & Mike Soukup VP of ServiceMaster Restore, here are some valuable to tips to help prevent such this kind of water damage.

1. Keep gutters and downspouts free of debris and make sure they are discharging water far away from the house foundation.

2. Move snow as far from exterior walls as possible. Ground saturated with melting snow can cause basement and foundational leaks from hydrostatic pressure. Moving snow away will allow better drainage and lessen the likelihood of damage.

3. If you have a sump pump, make sure it is working properly and is keeping up with the amount of water coming from the melting snow.

4. Check for cracks or small holes in foundation where water can seep in. Even a few inches of water from melted snow can cause interior water damage to carpet, drywall, wood floors and even your home's structure

5. If you do experience a water damage emergency, time is of the essence. Don't wait to call for professional help. Damage from the water will only get worse if not dealt with immediately. And if insurance will cover your loss, many policies state that you have an obligation to do what you can to keep the damage from getting worse.


For additional tips please consult our other blog posts. Also, the corresponding Kare 11 link

Springtime Tile & Grout Cleaning

They don’t call it a mudroom for nothing. But really, after a long winter tracking can dull the hard surface of any room. Porous, unsealed grout can readily absorb dirt, salt, and whatever else may be tracked on the tile. This can happen even if the floors are mopped and cared for regularly. And, to think, it used to look so good.


Whether it’s the tile and grout in your kitchen, shower stall, bathroom, entry, or the aforementioned mudroom, ServiceMaster Burnsville can help restore that same tile and grout to the cleanest and most pristine condition possible.


While cleaning tile and grout, ServiceMaster Burnsville employs a high-pressure hot water extraction method. The attachments used are hooked up to a pressure line, as well as a high powered suction line, and much like carpet cleaning, the dirt and build up is rinse and vacuumed simultaneously, with the recovered water being drawn back to the van, in to a disposal tank. Before extraction, depending upon buildup and the frequency of cleaning, the technician will likely agitate the grout with a nylon grout brush, or the floor as well with a high powered rotary floor scrubber (in larger areas such as a kitchen).


Most will have this service done every 1 to 2 years, with some variance in either direction depending on usage. Kitchens, due to grease and food spills, as well as being one of the more heavily used areas in your home should be tended to more frequently.


And, as mentioned before, grout is rather porous. Sealing the grout after the cleaning will help prevent future damage to it. A good sealer can lasts up to 2 years, allowing added assurance for you in the upkeep of your home.


No matter what the tile is: ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, or others, ServiceMaster Burnsville has the experience and the equipment to restore your flooring to the best possible condition, and the sealants to help keep it that way.


For information on our service areas kindly visit our Contact Us page.


Air Duct Cleaning: When should I do it?


It may be hard to believe, but spring is coming up quickly. As part of your spring cleaning, consider the dust and where a good amount of it may be coming from…your air ducts.


Having your air ducts cleaned by a professional air duct cleaning service with a quality system, like the negative air system ServiceMaster Burnsville offers, will yield the best results in improving indoor air quality, and spring is the best time of year to invest in this, without fail. You’ve run your furnace for month and months, and your windows have been shut since sometime in September, or October. It’s just before allergy season, when clean indoor air is the exact relief needed from a high pollen count and other outdoor allergens that come with the seasonal warm-up. It’s just before summer when you’ll be running your air-conditioning, and clean vents will help reduce energy costs.


A regular schedule for air duct cleaning, once every two years, is the best route to go. Possibly more often with households with multiple children, or multiple pets.


It is in an investment in your home, as well as your health.



For information on our service areas kindly visit our Contact Us page.


Scotchgard works.

The horror. Could you imagine?


You’ve just spent your hard earned money on professional carpet cleaning. Your old nylon was looking fresh off the roll. And based on the recommendation of the carpet cleaning technician, you added a protective coating to it as well. And the very next day, you spill the toughest thing to remove from anything— coffee, with creamer, on this same carpet.


Hey, accidents happen.


Thankfully, ServiceMaster Burnsville is sensitive to these situations. We know that even with added the insurance of a carpet protectant such as 3M scotchgard, time is of the essence with tannin dyes (coffee or tea), and if not properly remedied in a timely fashion, the outcome can be, well, permanent. That same day ServiceMaster Burnsville was able to get out to a job finished just the prior afternoon.


The coffee, even the higher concentration of the spill rinsed clean out of a white nylon Berber, even though it had dried. It did so, primarily because of one reason— the carpet protectant had kept the spilled coffee at the surface, rather than allowing it to sink in to the fibers. And, upon this rather unfortunate demonstration (again, carpet protectant is like insurance, you hope to never use it, but if you need to you’re sure glad you purchased it), something rather important happened. Namely, the customer who had purchased a product, based on the recommendation of the technician, was made to believe that the product purchased was one of high value.


The best way to know something does indeed work, is to see how it works for you.



For information on our service areas kindly visit our Contact Us page.




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