12 Things A Cleaner Needs To Do Their Job Well

12 Things A Cleaner Needs To Do Their Job Well

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

 

What Does A Cleaner Need To Clean?

When it comes to hiring a cleaner, some cleaning providers will supply all the cleaning products and cleaning materials, and some will require the to client provide everything themselves – there is normally a difference in costs associated with each option.

If you are going with a lower tariff, within . cleaning business, or if you are employing a sole trader or cleaning agency, it will be usual for the client to provide all the cleaning materials and products, in order for the business to keep their labour and charge rate lower.

So, if you supply the products, what will your cleaner need to do a professional job?

Here’s a handy guide you can print or pin:

12 Things A Cleaner Needs To Do Their Job Well | Mrs Mopp Cleaning Services

 

What do you think of our list? Is there anything you would like to add?

Happy Cleaning,

Mrs M x


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What Does A Cleaner Do Exactly?

What Does A Cleaner Do Exactly?

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips From the Author Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Can I Ask My Cleaner To Chop Wood?

What will a cleaner do in my home? What can I ask them to do? And What Won’t A Cleaner Do?

What Does A Cleaner Do Exactly? What You Can and Cannot Ask A Cleaner To Do | Mrs Mopp Blog

The wonderful Mary-Mary (she’s so good we named her twice!) working hard for Mrs Mopp 🙂

Cleaning businesses come in many shapes and sizes. There are sole traders who work alone, there are cleaning businesses who employ staff members, cleaning agencies who use self-employed cleaners, and cleaning franchises, that are part of a larger National or International cleaning brand/company.

There is a cleaning service out there for everybody and every home, and one that will meet your cleaning requirements, household needs, and budget.

Take a look at our earlier post to find out about the different types of cleaning services available and the pros and cons to each

What does a cleaner do?

Generally, cleaners will all undertake the following cleaning tasks and duties during a domestic clean:

  • High and low-level dusting
  • Cleaning of bathrooms
  • Cleaning of kitchen
  • Vacuuming
  • Mopping
  • Dusting and polishing of shelves, picture frames, units etc.

Some cleaners will also offer the following:

  • Change bedding
  • Empty all internal bins, including main kitchen waste
  • Ironing
  • Washing of dishes/loading of dishwashers

What other things is it okay to ask a cleaner to do?

This will depend on the type of cleaning service you use and the relationship you hold with them. Generally, it is okay and within limits, to ask the following:

  • Polishing silver or brass
  • Cleaning of internal windows
  • Washing and special care cleaning of ornaments
  • To fold washing and put it away
  • Help you de-clutter
  • Tidy up an area

Please note that you may be charged for additional time for extra tasks, or you may have to forfeit areas of your regular cleaning schedule if you are adding extra tasks to the list for your cleaner to do (remember they are only human!)

Some cleaners don’t wash up or iron, as standard, or even if asked, as it is not listed in their service list.  It is always best to enquire, via telephone or email, as to what the cleaning service does offer, and what extras they would be willing to do.  Before you invite a cleaner to your home to quote, make sure your needs will be met and your time not wasted

Below is an example of a cleaning franchise who does not iron or wash dishes, and makes it clear to clients.

What Does A Cleaner Do Exactly? The Things You Can And Cannot Ask Your Cleaner To Do | Mrs Mopp Blog

A screenshot from the website of world’s largest cleaning franchise, Molly Maid, showing what they do not clean

Things Cleaners Don’t and Won’t Do (and shouldn’t be doing)

  • Walk your dog *
  • Look after your children *
  • Do your supermarket shopping *
  • Chop wood for your fire place * (Really!)
  • Sew holes or darn socks *
  • Clean your whole home or a large area on their hands and knees *
  • Unblock your toilet *
  • Be naked or in something skimpy * (that’s a whole other service, my friends!

* = Tasks that a member of my cleaning team, or I, have been asked to do by a client! Yes really. (And yes our Moppettes chopped up the logs that day, as they were out of mobile reception to call the office, and didn’t want to let the new client down!)

What Does A Cleaner Do Exactly? What You Can And Cannot Ask Your Cleaner To Do | Mrs Mopp Blog

As A General Rule, Moppettes Don’t Chop Wood 😉

Next Steps

The first thing to do is look online and search different domestic cleaning services in your local area – take a look at their website, their Facebook, their Twitter and various other social platforms for starters, to get a ‘feel’ for them.

Do they look and sound like a person/business/franchise you could use?

Do they have a clear brand and service offering?

Do they cater for all the cleaning wants and needs you may have?

Do they testimonials and client interaction?

When getting to quoting stage, ask specifically if the cleaner will do X or Y as cleaning tasks, and be open and honest about your expectations

Please read other most recent post on 3 things to expect when hiring a cleaner as a third step, to help align your expectations of the reality of hiring a domestic cleaner.

We hope you have found this post helpful? If you have any comments or points to add, please drop us a comment

Do a good deed – share this post with any of your friends or family you think may find it helpful 🙂

Until next time,

Happy Cleaning!

Mrs M x


Find Mrs Mopp Cleaning Services (UK) Ltd Online

Find Mrs Mopp on Facebook – For Blogs, competitions and cleaning tips

Find Mrs Mopp On Instagram – For cleaning tips and cleaning funnies, along with behind the scenes from the Moppettes and the office teams

Find Mrs Mopp On Twitter – For blogs from Mrs Mopp and other trusted cleaning and household sources, day-to-day cleaning and general chatter and general local networking

Do you live In Telford, Shrewsbury, or the surrounding areas of Newport and Shifnal? Need help with your domestic cleaning? Please contact us today with your requirements.

Are you looking for commercial cleaning? Please see our sister company – MMCS (UK) Ltd

What To Expect From A Cleaner

What To Expect From A Cleaner

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips From the Author Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

 When hiring a domestic cleaner, what service levels should you expect in your home?

As we discussed last week, having a maid service is no longer just for the rich elite, it is now so common to hire a cleaning service that 1 in 3 homes in the UK now employs one!What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

As the more “ordinary” folk move to hiring help within their homes, some of them may have never had dealt with a cleaner before and perhaps come from a background that has never had cleaners or hired help in their homes – this post is to guide newbie homeowners employing a cleaner on a few things to expect.

What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

A Cleaner Will Not Redecorate Your Home

Excuse the dramatics but we wanted to make a point. Some clients expect their house will be transformed almost instantly upon having a cleaner and while that is true to a point, (as yes your home should look, feel and smell cleaner when you come home after each and every clean) it may take several cleans to get your home to the desired and workable standard of the cleaner and of the cleaning service provider you have hired.

It may take a cleaner 2/3 cleans to “bed-in” to a new client’s home and to know the flow of the rooms and work out the most efficient way of achieving all tasks in the set time frame. It will take several cleans to get on top of all paintwork and internal windows, for example, especially if they have not been regularly maintained beforehand. It may take several treatments to cut through all limescale on a shower screen or on taps if the build up is heavy etc.

A cleaner is only human and can only achieve so much in a 2, 3, 4-hour time span. From experience, our domestic Moppettes are professionally trained in cleaning techniques for efficiency combined with high-standard cleaning, and yes they can clean better and faster than the average Jo, but there is a limit to how many bathrooms can be cleaned, how many bed changes can be done or how many flights of stairs vacuumed in a two hour time slot – this is true of all cleaners

How To Overcome This?

The very best thing you can do is be very clear of your cleaning wants and your cleaning needs when you have someone come to your home to quote. The cleaner and the cleaning company want to serve you well and would much rather deliver great cleaning work in 2 hours than provide lots of bits of shoddy, rushed work throughout the home. If you can only afford to budget for 2 hours a week of cleaning then be realistic on what the most important tasks are to you to be done.

If you can afford it, have a deep/spring clean before your regular cleaning service starts – some franchises will insist on this – A deep clean will clean all paint work, internal windows, and there will be a deep clean in the living areas, kitchen and bathrooms etc. The idea of having a deep clean prior to your regular service is that it will make the home easier to maintain moving forward.

What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

A Cleaner Cleans But Does Not Tidy Up!

Okay, not strictly true because if we needed to vacuum a floor and it was littered with a weeks worth of clothes, we would, of course, pick up said clothes and fold them neatly… then we could get on with our job of cleaning.

Us picking up your clothes, picking up toys, putting away books and magazines etc is a waste of your actual cleaning time – If we only have 3 hours to do a top to bottom clean on a home and your cleaner spends 30 mins picking up and putting away items, something else may have to be missed, or it will be done in a rush (and probably poorly), as your cleaner will run out of time before they have to move to their next job.

You don’t want a half complete clean, the cleaning business owner does not want to give you an incomplete clean and the cleaner does not want to feel like they are failing as they become so overwhelmed with the tasks to be done Vs time allowed.

How To Overcome This?

The night before your scheduled clean please tidy-up for your cleaner – Get the whole  household involved and explain to one and all that floors should be clear and items that should be somewhere should be put there – Your cleaner will love you for it and you will get more bang for your buck in cleaning time. Hurrah all round!

What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

Your Cleaner Won’t Last Forever

Nothing lasts forever we all know this but allow me to explain…

There are two types of cleaner. The first type of cleaner is the dream cleaner for you to hire in your home; they are the type of cleaner that instinctively knows what is to be cleaned, they love to clean and to get quality results, and they would never, ever dream of assigning their name to bad work. Career cleaners live to clean, it is their vocation. This type of cleaner does exist, I promise, but they are rare (in eight years of running Mrs Mopp I have employed several career cleaners and many are still with me, as a good cleaner is worth their weight in gold!)

The second type of cleaner is a person that sees cleaning hours as convenient for their own life and they see it as a job they can do until they find something else. (‘Something better’, is the phrase I will hear most often, frustratingly, cleaning is not a respected job role in this country, and this does not help with retention) These types of cleaners are the majority in the UK. Harsh but true. This is not to say ‘jobbing cleaners’ can’t be good cleaners, not at all, I’ve employed many an excellent cleaner that has gone on to do other things as their circumstances have changed, the point is that these cleaners are not career cleaners, they do not live for the finish and sparkle in the same way as cleaning type number one does and no matter what pay rates, incentive schemes, employee benefits etc that a cleaning business may offer, some people never intend on staying in a role with a long term view (please believe me I’ve tried to change this view and still try daily) and so it goes, your cleaner will not last forever.

Another reason cleaners don’t last forever is that the work is very physically demanding and some people join the profession thinking they can do it (how hard can cleaning be right?) and then they discover after a week or two that it’s really not for them and they can’t stay with the pace

Cleaning businesses HATE changing cleaning staff just as much as a client hates having to have a new cleaner, but please know that sometimes they can’t help it as it may beyond their control, BUT,  they will be doing everything they can behind the scenes to correct it, I guarantee it, no cleaning business owner likes disgruntled calls or emails. Not a single one.

How To Overcome This?

When looking for a cleaning business ask about how they do their recruitment, ask what capacity they employ their cleaners – some cleaning business are actually agencies and all their staff are self-employed and none of the cleaners are known to each other – ask how they keep and motivate their staff

Mrs Mopp UK Team

Ask yourself would you prefer a single cleaner or are you happy for a team of two to come to your home? Many companies use two cleaners for heath and safety reasons (moving furniture, falling etc) and this can help with service disruption as there is always one known cleaner.

If you really want one person and one person only, you either have to accept, there may be times that particular individual is sick or perhaps on holiday and you would have to go without a clean, or you will have a cover cleaner so as not to disrupt your cleaning service – or if you employ a sole trader cleaner, if they are sick or on holiday you will not have a clean (nor the option of cover).

There are Pros and cons to all cleaning services – take a look at our post here that describes the different type of cleaning services available to find the one that best suits you, your budget and your cleaning needs.

The main point to take away from the post is this: be realistic with timeframes available, and with your cleaning wants and your cleaning needs. Stay open in communication with the cleaner, supervisor and/or business owner/manager to work together to find your perfect cleaning service.

It can be done, you can have a harmonious relationship with your cleaning provider, with a perfectly running cleaning schedule, I promise. It just won’t happen all in one clean.

Do you have anything to add to this post? Please post in the comments and please share this post with anyone you think may find it useful

Happy Cleaning!

Mrs M x

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Read the previous post: Is It Time To Hire A Cleaner?

Looking for top Cleaning Tips, Cleaning Blogs and Cleaning Funnies? Come Pin with us 🙂 

Do you live in Telford, Shrewsbury or the surrounding areas, including Newport and Shifnal? Contact Mrs Mopp today for a no obligation quotation on your domestic cleaning needs 🙂

Looking for a commercial clean quotation? Please take a look at our sister company MMCS (UK) LTD

 

 

Cleaning Tips – Top 5 Weekly Round Up | Mrs Mopp

Cleaning Tips – Top 5 Weekly Round Up | Mrs Mopp

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Cleaning Tips w/c 10.11.14

Hello lovely people of the Internet, did you see our visual cleaning tips last week on Facebook? You didn’t? Oh no…

Well the Mama Mopp thought it would be a good idea that we should put them on our website too, just to show visitors, a bit of what your missing out on over on Facebook, you know, er… should you.. err… wanna come over there and like us? 😉

We get that not everyone in the world has a Facebook (really?) so, if you prefer to see written tips, in 140 characters or less, we can do that for you too, over on Twitter at 11am, Monday through Friday. (GMT) If you fancy just a smattering of tips and would rather know what goes on behind the scenes of Mopp Towers, you can add us on Instagram for that.

Social bunch, us Moppettes you know.

Take a look at the weeks round up of the top 5 cleaning tips and let us know your favourite. If you have a cleaning tip that you would like to share with us, please contact us and make sure to include your name so we may give you full credit.

We hope you enjoyed the round up of last weeks top 5 cleaning tips and that some, if not all of them, will be useful to you at some point. Don’t forget if you have a top cleaning tip of your own, you can share it with us and we’ll share it with the world – just don’t forget to give us your name!

Thank you for stopping 🙂

Happy cleaning folks,

Mrs Mopp x

 

Ten Top Cleaning Tips & Life Hacks | Mrs Mopp UK

Ten Top Cleaning Tips & Life Hacks | Mrs Mopp UK

Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips From the Author Inspiration Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Love Cleaning Tips?

Here at Mrs Mopp, not only do we clean houses to the highest standards, we also like to try out and test cleaning tips and advice we find on blogs, to see what works. You can catch our regular cleaning tips by searching online for the hashtag #CleaningTips or you can check out our pages on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram which have daily cleaning tips and other cleaning wonderful-ness.

Please see below for a collection of our latest cleaning tips, designed to help save you time and money in your home.

Do you have a great cleaning tips of your own that you want share with the world? Contact us here and we will give you full credit if we make it a picture tip. You can also tag MrsMoppUK in your cleaning tips on Instagram and Facebook. Help us to make the world a cleaner place.

 

We hope you have enjoyed the first instalment of Mrs Mopp Cleaning Tips. Please check back regularly for more cleaning tips or check us out on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for daily #CleaningTips

Want to submit your own cleaning tip for all the world to see? Please contact Mrs Mopp here and leave your cleaning tips and full name/social media name, so that we may give you full credit if we turn it into a picture tip.

Thanks for reading,

Mrs Mopp x

Help! What Is The Best Thing For Getting Rid Of Urine Smells?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

If you are potty training, have a family member with incontinent issues or have a new pet, the chances are you are going to end with a few accidents on your floors or chairs. Urine is not the easiest of stains to clean up as it is the salt within the urine that crystallizes and acts as a desiccant – this means that the salts attract moisture and never really dry out, so on hot days or rainy days the smell may become worse.

Some cleaning agents will help remove the stain and the odors but most just mask the smell on a temporary basis only; as the months and even years pass after the urine stain has been left the salts will still be active and it is these properties that form bacteria and make the smell that lingers in the air. In order to get rid of nasty smells altogether we need to clean the stain and deodorize the area

There are several chemical based products available for dealing with all types of urine stains from pets to people and a selection can be found here and I would also recommend washing the carpets with clothes washing powder, as not only will this clean the stain but will also deodorize the area too.

However, if you wish to attack the cleaning in a more natural way, below are some tips and techniques to try:

ALWAYS, always, always dab up as much of the pee before attempting to clean. Note the word DAB not rub. Use an old rag you can wash, paper towels or even newspaper. Stand on the cloth and apply pressure to the pee stain, keep repeating this cycle until the the paper towels/cloth does not seen to be absorbing any further. This step is the first step regardless of if you are using chemical or natural methods, the less pee we have to deal with the better right?

1. Using Vinegar – Use neat in a spray bottle or at a 80:20 dilution if you would prefer to weaken the smell a little. Always test on an inconspicuous area of your carpet first. Spray the vinegar mist over the damp patch – the vinegar will not remove the urine but it will help to break it down and loosen it from the fibers of your carpets or furniture. Once sprayed, get scrubbing… rinse and repeat the cycle if necessary. When the carpet has been scrubbed within an inch of its life (especially important if puppy wee to stop them follow their own scent and peeing in exactly the same spot again!), dab up any excess water and sprinkle the carpet with baking soda, leave over night and vacuum up the next morning

2. Using baking powder – Using 1 part baking powder and 2 parts water, make a paste that should be a toothpaste like consistency. Scrub the paste into the damp spot and again, using elbow grease get scrubbing the spot. Once you have scrubbed the fibres with the paste, leave on the stain over night – wash and dab dry the following day

Once the stain has been washed always deodorizer the area with a sprinkle of baking powder, the use of a perfumed fabric spray or household items such as mouthwash

3. If you find that the smell or stain isn’t lifting after chemical and natural methods then it is time to call in a professional carpet cleaner to treat much deeper into the fibers

4. However sometimes no matter what you do it may already be too late and the carpet or an area or carpet will need replacing – if urine has gone unnoticed and was not cleaned straight away it will seep in past the fibers to the backing of the carpet and into the underlay to the floor or through to your cushions if a sofa – this is as serious problems and all the baking powder in the world will not help.

Prevention is most certainly better than cure in the case of urine, so my advice is to always have your product of choice and cloths ready to use in an accessible area as if you are about to embark on a puppy or start potty training a toddler, you need to be on “Pee Patrol” and ready to act straight away on those little accidents that happen

Happy Cleaning 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help! How do I get paint emulsion off my sofa?

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Q: Removing dry emulsion from sofa fabric, any ideas? (and yes the painter has been shot)

 

 

A: As the paint is already dry the first thing is to try and remove the majority of it before we make the stain wet again.

With a palette knife, small scraper or similar object start scraping off the paint that is on the top layers of the fabric. Depending on how old (or deep) the stain is, scraping should remove the great majority and all that will remain is to sponge the stain with warm water and a clothes detergent.

However, if the stain has become imbedded deeper in the fabric, take a look at the two methods below, depending on the composition of the paint used…

1. Latex Paint

  • Using a spray bottle Lightly mist the paint stain with water. (This removal process is effective for both wet and dry paint stains on fabric, once the excess paint has been removed)
  • Now for the hard work – Firmly dab the stain with a clean, dry cloth/towel until no more paint transfers over. The water spray will bring the paint out of the fabric. Ensure to use pressure when dabbing to ensure it lifts from the fibers below the ones you can see
  • Apply rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth and start to gently rub the stain ** CAUTION** Always test an inconspicuous area of the sofa first to ensure it does not damage the colour
  • Use warm water, with a tablespoon of clothes detergent, and wash the area
  • Use clean water and another clean cloth to rinse off the area, removing all soap and any remains of the rubbing alcohol
  • Leave to dry
2. Oil Based Paint
  • After scraping paint off, use a sponge dipped in turpentine and dab the stained area ** CAUTION** Again test an area out of sight on your sofa
  • Use a clean cloth to dab after you have dabbed with the sponge soaked in turpentine and you should see the paint lifting onto the cloth
  • Keep repeating the process of sponge dabbing with turpentine, followed by dabbing with a clean cloth until the stain is gone
  •  Use warm water, with a tablespoon of clothes detergent and wash the area
  • Use clean water and another clean cloth ro rinse of the area
  • Leave to dry

We hope this has helped, good luck with removing your stain

Stop the Junk!

Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

So here we are in a New Year, all ready for our new starts – gym memberships, weight loss, giving up smoking, vowing to sort out our bulging cupboards, drawers and the childrens toy box…

To help aid you and keep you motivated with your resolutions (well the cleaning ones at least), we are going to be dedicating the month of January to de-cluttering and getting organised, so even if you don’t make it to the gym for that second time, at least you will have a clean and tidy home!

The first de-cluttering tip I will share with you is one we all encounter and can do something about… spam!

Junk mail – brochures, catalogs,  leaflets promising the world, the phone book (who uses these now??) it goes on and on.

A few junk mail facts for you

  • An estimated 12 billion pieces of junk mail are distributed to UK households and businesses annually.
  • This is equivalent to between 4.6 and 6.1m trees.
  • The average (adult) person gets 65 pieces of addressed junk mail per year.
  • The average household gets 326 pieces of unaddressed junk mail per year.
  • Over 90% of all advertising mail is unsolicited (i.e. the postal equivalent of cold calling

So what to do about it?

In this modern age of technology, the great majority of us can find what we want, when we want it on our laptops, computers and telephones and do not need the constant barrage of paper through our letter boxes, so how do we stop it?

We opt out… stop the junk and stop the clutter.

Please see any of the links below to register your name and address and start the first day of de-cluttering your home… see that wasn’t so bad was it 😉

www.stopjunkmail.org.uk

www.mpsonline.org.uk

www.catalogchoice.org

 

 

20 Weird & Wonderful Cleaning Tips

Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Years before supermarket shelves were packed with an array of brightly coloured bottles promising to kill 99.9% of all germs or promising to clean an item so brightly that you could use it as a make shift mirror, the world of cleaning used natural remedies and sometimes slighty unnatural remedies to get results…

1. Lemon Juice can be for stains and rust on plastic – use diluted or neat

2. Use diluted lemon juice on a curry stain on a carpet to remove stain and freshen fabric

3. For spills on carpets, use soda water dabbed on to remove staining from pile

4. Remove water marks from wooden surfaces with a small amount of mayonnaise or toothpaste on a damp cloth

5. Banish children’s finger tip marks from your wall by rubbing with slightly moist, stale white bread (yes really… told you weird and wonderful!)

6. To make your chrome sparkle and shine, pour flour over, rinse and buff with a soft cloth

7. To make your stainless steel shine, rub it over with baking powder and buff up with a ball of scrunched up newspaper

8. Want to perk up your wooden furniture? Wash wood with a white vinegar/water solution, leave over night, then polish and buff surfaces as normal the next day

9. For tough, hard to shift stains and for disinfectant properties use white vinager and water, with a 1:5 ratio

10. To remove lime scale from a shower head, leave in a bowl of white vinegar overnight

11. Remove hard water marks from toilet bowls by tipping in fizzy cola, leaving for an hour and then flushing

12. Rub plant leaves with a  small of amount of mayonnaise or milk on a paper towel to make them shine for weeks!

13. To make small brass or copper items shine, rub with a cotton swab that has been dipped in ketchup, then buff

14. Use WD-40 to remove sticker marks from plastic tubs and items

15. Want to  find another use for vodka other than having a party… how about using it on a soft clean cloth to shine porcelain, chrome or glass

16. Use rice to clean inside vases, bottles or hard to reach areas by mixing rice with a water/vinegar solution, shaking vigorously and rinse out (rice is also good for putting into your salt pot to protect from moisture)

17. To remove rust from items put the kettle on (no, not for you) and make some strong black tea, wait for it to  cool and place the item in the tea for an hour to overnight depending on the level of rust

18. To remove wax and paraffin stains on furniture use glycerine (bought from chemists and is harmless on skin)

19. Another top tip for carpet spills, sprinkle over the spill with corn starch, leave for 15 mins and  then vaccum

20.  To remove mineral stains from glass built up by dishwashers or hard water areas rub with  freshly peeled potato skins and buff

 

Top 10 Guide to Spring Cleaning

Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Okay, so since the last post we’ve all de-cluttered, made space in our home or office and are now ready to start the actual task of the spring cleaning right? (If not, please go back a step and read our de-cluttering post  to get you on track)

To help you along with this big annual task I have put together this guide along with some useful hints and tips to help you achieve a clean, fresh, sparkly home without too much pain, so lets get on shall we as we have homes and offices to make beautiful…

1) Get bodies on board – A spring clean is not a task to be done on your lonesome, it’s a big job and should you try to be a hero and do it alone you could be trapped in your property until next spring!  Recruit your fellow family members, colleagues, flat mates  or use a professional service, as I am sure you did not create the mess alone, so don’t take on the task of cleaning it alone!


Children can help with wiping walls, wiping cupboards,  dusting and using a feather duster among other duties and if children  are set a task  and are given the authority for it, not only will  you have less work  to do, but your children will  feel important and like they make a  difference in the home…  also bribery of ice cream afterwards, trip  to park, movie  night etc usually help too.

2) Check you have the tools – Before you psyche yourself up and start doing your stretching exercises and limbering up for the cleaning event (not compulsory 😉 ) check to make sure you have all the tools you need to be able to undertake your spring clean.

You will need:

  • Jay cloths – Normally coloured, light textured cloths that can be bought cheaply and are excellent for wiping sides/doors/paintwork and can be thrown away afterwards or washed and used again
  • Sponges – Ideally the sponges with the scouring pads on are best and are great for cleaning baths/sinks/stubborn marks on worktops/kitchen cupboards etc.
  • Microfibre cloths – these are soft cloths that feel a little like a child’s blanket – I personally love these cloths and they are great tool to have in any cleaning box – my advice is don’t always think cheap with these, as they can be washed and re-used (no fabric softener or tumble dryers please as they ruins the cloth and it won’t work as well). Microfibres are used for buffing and polishing as well as cleaning and are excellent for shining your sink in your bathroom to making your windows sparkle
  • Bowl/bucket – Needed for hot soapy water for cleaning paintwork, walls and doors
  • Mop and vacuum
  • Feather duster
  • Bin liners
  • Products – Be your products the natural remedies or the over the counter cleaning agents you will need, in some description; multi surface cleaner, polish, glass cleaner, de-scaler, anti-bacterial wipes, bleach and plenty of elbow grease!

3) Start up, work down – Help gravity out, by always starting at the top of the room and work downwards – so ceiling dusting for cobwebs, then walls, then door and architrave, then skirting, then floor

4) Get behind the big stuff – spring cleaning is that time when we move the settee, pull out the beds, move the kitchen dresser etc in order to get behind them and clean those areas – Please never do this alone, pair up with another and remember “knees bend, back straight, we go up without a break”. Use your crevice tool for the hard to reach places to go over the carpeted or hard floor area and also the skirting

*** top tip *** If you have cream or lighter coloured carpets you may notice around the edges it will still look dark after vacumming, this is trapped hair and dust and it will never come out with a vacuum alone, even using the crevice tool. Solution? Wrap a damp jay cloth around your finger tip and run it between the wall and carpet, it collects all dust and hair in one go.

Okay, now the nitty-gritty, are you ready?

5) Cleaning walls –  After using your feather duster to go around the ceiling, its time to start on the walls. The first thing to do is eliminate the dust that will naturally settle.For a textured wall, use nylon socks over your broom head as this will prevent snagging and stop you having lots of matted and ripped material stuck to your wall. For wall-papered walls,  a normal yellow duster will suffice, attached on to your broom head and brush the walls from the top down 

After dusting off all walls, take a look for marks (especially finger and hand prints where people may lean or touch i.e. by light switches, door handles, the water cooler), if you paint is washable then please wipe away with a multi surface cleaner, if you have paint that is not washable or you have wallpaper that has greasy or crayon marks for example, panic not,  a art-gum to erase marks could be used among many other solutions

6) Cleaning windows – Windows can be tricky and personally I find that allot of the over-the-counter cleaners, whilst smelling very nice don’t often deliver on their “no streaks” promise. I find washing the windows with good old fashioned soapy water (or 1 part water, 1 part white vinegar if you’d prefer) and then buffing with either newspaper or a good quality micro fibre will do a very nice job.  My two top tips are to firstly clean your windows on a cloudy day when it is not sunny or too warm and secondly buff one side in one direction and, should you do the outsides too, to  buff the other side in the opposite direction so that if there are smears you can tell which side is the culprit!

7) Cleaning paintwork – Using your bowl, jay cloths and sponges wash all architrave (door frames), doors and skirting boards in the rooms – Psst don’t forget the top of the door frames and to wipe over your doors and architrave afterwards with a microfibre to have high gloss finish without water marks

Also wash down banisters, spindles, strings (the triangle piece up the side of the stairs don’t-you-know) and hand railings as these areas get very dusty, very grimy and carry germs that can lead to viruses.

8 ) Wooden flooring – Grit is the enemy of the wooden floor, so in order to prevent a build up it is always best to have mats for visitors to wipe their shoes off before they step on your floor. Regularly brush or vacuum (on flat setting, no brush bars please as they will scratch) or invest in a microfibre flat head mop, as theses can be used for buffing as well as collecting dust and grit

With wooden floors it is best to “mist” the mop head (spray solution onto it) rather then the traditional method with a mop and bucket, as the water residue will sit on top of the floor and will, over time, cause damage to the flooring

*** Top Tip*** When cleaning your wooden floor, attach a waxed piece of paper to the bottom of your flat-head microfibre or broom – this will not only pick up any little bits that were stuck to the floor but will also polish the floor too!

9) Cleaning Kitchens – On a spring clean, the kitchen (along with bathroom) should have the longest time spent on them, as they are the two areas of your home that will encounter high traffic. In the kitchen all kitchen cupboards should be washed both inside and out, all kick boards, pelmets and handles. As well as the paintwork, windows and walls the other areas to pay attention too are the appliances, a great tip is to wipe them over with vinegar and lemon juice to keep white and buff afterwards to keep that new look shine. Also tips for a clean sink are to use lighter fluid (yes really) on stainless steel sinks to get rid of any staining – on porcelain sinks, place paper towels on the bottom of the sink and drench in household bleach, leave for 8 hours overnight and hey presto a lovely sparkly sink (not to be used on coloured sink please)

A top tip for your refrigerator is to place a small box of baking powder in there to eliminate odours

10) Cleaning bathrooms – In my opinion bathrooms should dazzle and shine, they are place we go to get clean ourselves and therefore it should be clean to  begin with as what’s the pointing of bathing in a dirty tub?

For bathrooms, all walls, tiles, grout and paint work should be washed, as well as the toilet (don’t forget the back of the toilet where the pipes are and the sides where the toilet bolts in, both places that collect allot of dust and grime) the hand basin, shower tray and bath – then all should be buffed to a high shine with your microfibre.

My biggest bugbear with bathrooms is glass and chrome – these should sparkle within a bathroom and my ideal clean is when a shower is so clean it looks like it has no glass in it at all – to achieve this the product I would recommend would be Viakal or for those that prefer the natural remedy, use 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup ammonia and 1/2 baking powder to one gallon water – use your dis-scalers all over the screen, scrub lightly with a sponge scourer, rinse, wipe off dry and buff and you will have a shower of a luxery hotel in your very own bathroom

So there we have it my top ten guide of spring cleaning… now go and get your marigolds on as we have work to  do  😉