Help! Turmeric Stain On My Jumper!

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We have been asked the following question on our Twitter account:

Question to Mrs Mopp

Okay, turmeric staining is a toughie, but fear not we have a few tricks that could help save your jumper!

For the benefit of those curry lovers out there, who may face turmeric staining in the future, and don’t fancy a bright yellow/orange stain on your clothing, follow this quick-clean guide.

  • Stop eating and take action!
  • Get the clothing/tablecloth to the sink and dab (DO NOT RUB) the stain with cold water and washing powder/liquid or cold water and washing up liquid will do the trick also
  • Leave for 30 mins in soak
  • Next dab the stain with distilled white vinegar (or neat lemon/lime juice as a substitute)
  • To finish, hang to dry, preferably in direct sunlight, to bleach the stain out naturally (Good luck with the sunshine in the UK! ūüėČ )

turmeric

 

For a stain that has dried into the fabric or is an older, lingering stain, we have these 5 top tricks for you to try:

* Disclaimer: Please, please, please always test the cleaning solution on a inconspicuous part of the garment first! *

1. If the stain is now a light orange/pink colour we can try the next steps, however, if your stain is still very yellow/orange Рplease repeat (or start) the steps above. For a pink stain you can use an oxygenated bleach product designed for clothing in a normal wash cycle Рthe product works by releasing bubbles of oxygen to penetrate the fibers of the garment. You could also try a  sodium hypochlorite bleach based product, if it is safe on the fabric of the garment. *ALWAYS READ THE LABEL FIRST*

2. Sunlight – If you can get a clear day, hang the garment outside. The sun will naturally bleach the stain.

3. Make a paste with baking powder and water (3:1) and massage the paste into the offending stain. Leave overnight and then wash as normal the next day

4. Soak the stain in soda water overnight – not tonic or anything containing sugar, as that will make it worse. Wash as normal the next day

5. For bleach sensitive garments you can use Glycerin. Soak the garment in a warm water/glycerin mix (8:1) for 30 minutes and then wash as normal OR make apply glycerin direct to the stain and massage into the area, rinse with cool water and then launder as normal.

We hope this helps!

Best of luck and let us know how you get on¬† ūüôā

Mrs Mopp x

 

 

 

What Should I Look For In A Cleaner?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

help wanted

 

So, you have finally decided to get some help in your home. Yay! Brilliant news, just think of all that time you will have to play with, ah good times, lunch with friends, reading that long meant to be read book, taking a stroll… but before we rush ahead, we need to find the right person to clean our homes for us. But who? And how?

As, those regular readers will know, there are four types of cleaning service to choose from, so this post is written to encompass them all – some questions will apply to all business models some questions will not, use your ‘noggin on that.

Where to find a cleaner or cleaning service

  • By word of mouth – who does your friend use to clean their home? Who does your¬†colleague¬†use? Ask around, hear some reviews.
  • Local publications – Local sole traders and businesses tend to advertise in local press and magazines
  • The internet – Type in different search words like “cleaners in Telford” or “Domestic Cleaners in Telford” to find what you are looking for – please note that the top three results in the yellow area are paid for placings
  • By leaflet Drop – Leaflet dropping is very popular for cleaning businesses, even in this high tech age. When calling from a leaflet make sure it has actual details about the actual business and is in fact a real, registered business and not just somebody looking to make a quick buck.

Things you need to know about you cleaning Service

  • Are they insured? – What are they insured for, what does it cover? What is the value of their insurance? What is the excess on the insurance and who would be responsible for that in the event of a claim?
  • How do they vet their cleaners? – How are the employees or subcontractors referenced? Where did they recruit them? How much of the cleaners back ground do they check?
  • How do they train their cleaners? – Do they have a training process? Do they give any training?
  • How do they quality check the cleaning work? How do they ensure your cleaner is working the correct times and/or delivering the correct standard?
  • Who can I call if I have a problem or issue?
  • What do I do if I am not happy with my clean?

Things you need to know about your cleaner

  • How long have they worked for the business/franchise/agent/themselves?
  • How many other houses do they clean?
  • Do they have references and recommendations?
  • What training have they had?

Each area can go more in depth and I will be writing future blog posts on interview questions to ask a cleaner/business owner but for now you are armed and ready to find that domestic cleaning fairy to serve you and your home.

If you have any thoughts or questions I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

NEXT WEEK: The Guilt Of Employing A Cleaner In Your Home

 

 

What Different Types Of Cleaning Service Are There?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

In our busy and eventful lives, it is not uncommon to hear about people having a cleaner, window cleaner or gardener to help them in their homes. These are not people who have gazillions in the bank; these are every day working people who value their free time in their schedules. People just like you and I.

But with so many cleaning options and services available what is the best one for you, your home and your budget?

The Four Ways to Hire A Cleaner And The Pros and Cons of Each

pros-cons

1. The Sole Trader

By the very nature of the name, this is an individual that works by themselves for themselves. A sole trader cleans to make a living for themselves. Sole traders charge from £7 Р£11 per hour. Personally I would suggest paying a private cleaner around £7 Р£8.50 per hour (area dependant) as paying the higher rates of £9 + per hour does not seem justified to the value add a sole trader can bring compared to a business or franchise.

Pros

  • One dedicated cleaner for your home
  • A flexible arrangement about what work will be undertaken
  • A cheaper rate, so would suit those with a smaller budget

Cons

  • If your cleaner is sick, goes on holiday or breaks a leg what will you do? There is no back up with a sole trader.
  • You are responsible for ensuring the cleaner has insurance and references. Who is responsible if an item is damaged?
  • The cleaner doesn’t always turn up, or do the agreed hours – familiarity can breed contempt.

2. The Cleaning Business

This is a business that employs 1 or more people to clean. A cleaning business, for the sake of this article, is privately owned and run. A cleaning business provides employment and aims to make a profit on the services provided. A cleaning business will charge between £8.00 Р£15.00 per hour depending on its size and services offered.  I would suggest looking at the rate in comparison to what that business gives you in return. If the cleaning business does not provide quality checks or have a customer care procedure, why would you pay more for it, than say if you had a sole trader giving you the exact same service at a discount?

Pros

  • A dedicated cleaner and a back up if your cleaner is not available
  • A cleaning schedule of what will be done in your home and procedures for the work
  • A back office function for any queries, complaints or questions.

Cons

  • Cleaning businesses can have a high staff turn over due to the nature of work, this is throughout the¬†cleaning¬†industry. You may always have a cleaner, it just may not always be the same one.
  • A cleaning business should have a contract and this may impose terms on you for a notice period, lock out charges and cancellation charges etc.
  • A cleaning business can seem less personal than a sole trader due to the fact there may be a chain of command or there are multiple sites.

3. The Cleaning Franchise

These are businesses that have been bought, by an individual, for the brand and the proven profitable business structures a franchisor has developed. When you deal with a franchise you will be dealing with a person who has invested money in a company to learn their techniques and their processes. The franchisee will follow set procedures for quoting and executing the work they do. The cost of a franchise to clean to clean per hour is a bit of a black art to master, as they do not tend to quote by the hour, they tend to quote by the clean. I have quoted against many franchisees over several years and still it intrigues me when I am given their price as to how they reach it. For a three bed, two bath standard home you should expect to pay £40 Р58 per clean Рthe clean make take 3 hours, 2 hours or 1 hour depending on the number in the team and the equipment used.

Pros

  • The business model is tried and tested, as opposed to a living-it-learning-it cleaning business
  • The customer experience, branding and marketing should be second to none
  • The equipment and materials used will always be ¬†good quality

Cons

  • Can be more¬†expensive¬†than all three of the alternatives
  • A badly run franchise is the same as any badly run business regardless of the fancy systems the individual invested in
  • Contractual obligation – some franchise businesses can have contracts that lock you in for 3, 6 or 9 months – not good if you don’t like their service or have a personality clash with your cleaner or the franchisee

4. The Cleaning Agency

A cleaning agency is a little bit like a recruitment agency, they are the middle men. A cleaning agency tends to be a office based business that will leaflet drop an area advertising for it’s cleaning services and, at the same time ,recruit in the local job centres and local publications for self employed cleaners to fulfill the work. With a cleaning agency you will pay between ¬£9.50 – ¬£13.00 per hour depending on the area and the company you deal with.

Pros

  • A cleaning agency is a nice blend of sole trader and cleaning business – if your cleaner leaves their job, you can call for another one
  • The price range falls in between the business and sole trader
  • As with a sole trader the work is agreed between client and cleaner giving greater flexibility

Cons

  • As a client you¬†have¬†to make two payments – one in cash to your cleaner, on the day, and one of an¬†administration¬†fee, paid in advance, by direct debit to the agent
  • Agencies tend to have an extremely high turn over of staff due to the fact that cleaners cannot get enough and/or consistent hours – do you want you keys swapping hands with people not connected to one and other bar the agency they are registered to?
  • This business model, in my opinion, does nothing for its fee and does not give any value add other than finding a cleaner for you. The agency does not take responsibility of your cleaner is sick or on holiday for example, that is for you, the client, to arrange with your cleaner – you could just as well deal with a sole trader direct for the same service without the payment hassles?

I hope you have found the information useful and if you have any comments or thoughts, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

 NEXT WEEK: What To Look For In A Cleaner

Help! How can I can my porcelain floor tiles to shine?

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 Question To Mrs Mopp:

I have a black and white tiled floor. The tiles are porcelain and no matter how I clean them, my floor always looks dull and not quite clean. What can I do to make my floors shine?

 

chequered floor

 

Answer:

Porcelain tiles are widely used in our homes and offices , they look nice and they are quite easy to take care of with a little know-how.

Quick Cleaning Guide to Porcelain

  1. Vacuum or sweep tiled area prior to mopping – pay particular attention to the corners and sides of the room
  2. Choose your cleaning solution based on the tile type – see below
  3. DO NOT use ammonia or bleach based products on porcelain as it can discolour the tile and alter the grout colour
  4. DO NOT use solutions that contain oil-based detergents, sealant or wax cleaners
  5. Use rugs at all entrances where there are porcelain tiles to prevent walk through of girt and dirt that may damage and scratch your tile

 

Different Type of Porcelain Tile and how to clean them

Unpolished Tile – For flooring with a moderate dirt level

  • Vac/sweep –¬†for best results use a clean, dry mop instead of a broom
  • Saturate floor with cleaning solution and clean first in horizontal and then vertical motions, for a thorough coverage
  • For stubborn stained areas, scrub the solution into the area with a nylon brush or scrub brush (avoid wire wool products)
  • Rinse the floor with clean, clear water using a new mop head from the dirty one or using a steam mop
  • Leave to dry in ventilated room or towel dry/buffer depending on size of the area

Polished/Glazed porcelain tiles

  • Vac/Sweep
  • Mop the floor with a mild cleaning solution – On a polished tile you need 50% less product than what you would on an unpolished floor – Mrs Mopp would recommend a cleaning agent that is non-soap based neutral PH cleaner or using a white vinegar mix (2 gallons hot water – 1/4 cup white vinegar)
  • Rince tiles with clear, clean water
  • Polish by hand, with a buffer , or with a clean, dry, flat-head microfibre mop to bring to a high shine. If you are cleaning a large floor area you may want to clean the floor in sections, as is the water is allowed to dry you will get water spots and streaking on your tile.

Textured Tile

A textured tile will require a little more cleaning time. Standard wet mopping will not clean the tile to its best, so it is important with a textured tile to clean a little more frequently

  • Vac/Sweep – for sweeping using a soft bristled broom, First sweep in the direction of the tile and then re-sweep in the opposite direction to ensure all dirt is picked up that may lodge in crevices or the groove of a tile.
  • Scrub/mop floor with a neutral cleaning solution, again cleaning in both directions. First cleaning one way and then the other to ensure even coverage.
  • Rinse the floor with clean, clear water and leave to air dry or towel dry/buffer depending on area size
  • For stubborn stains or high traffic areas it is recommend you clean the floor this thoroughly at least once a week and vac/wet mop daily

 

The most important thing to remember is to rinse any product – bought or natural – off the floor once washed. For quick cleaning use only hot water and a clean mop head after vacuuming or sweeping and allow to dry or buff if the room is not well ventilated

Hope that helps?

Happy Cleaning  РMrs Mopp x

 

 

How To De-Clutter Your Bedroom

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

So far this week we have sorted out your Junk Mail and de-cluttered your Office Space¬†but today we move onto the house… We can’t delay it anymore, we have to tackle the big stuff!

As with all¬†cleaning, one should start up and work down and we are going to do exactly that, starting with the bedroom…

Is your bedroom your¬†sanctuary? Is it a tranquil place that you can unwind and relax in or is it cluttered, with clothes¬†strewn¬†across chairs and in piles, DVDs/CDs/Books stacked in every corner or bulging from shelves or wires from chargers,¬†straightener’s¬†and¬†alarm¬†clocks in every socket? In our busy and active lives our bedrooms should be a pleasure room for relaxation and sleep only, not to work in, haggle in, pay bills in… just to relax and sleep.

In this post we are going to look at 3 main areas of the bedroom to  de-clutter and offer you 5 tips on how to stay on top of it all once you have a achieved you peaceful, zen like bedroom.

Where Do I Start?

 

1. Furniture

Have a look at the¬†furniture¬†in your bedroom and what it’s function is – ask yourself if it’s needed or if there is a better way of storing it’s contents. Do you really need all your coats and jumpers in your wardrobe all year round? Do you really need every one of your 73 pairs of shoes in the bottom of your wardrobe? Do you really need a drawer full of scarfs?

As with anything you have constant contact with,  it can become hard to see the wood for the trees and I would recommend asking a friend to help with their fresh eyes. Ask your friend how they would lay your bedroom out if it were their room, if they think it is streamlined and using the space you have efficiently; sometimes even shifting a wardrobe from one wall to another can make a huge difference to the feel of space in a room

When reviewing your furniture, should you find a particular piece that is redundant in your bedroom, look at using it elsewhere in your home, donate it to a charity (http://www.netcycler.co.uk or  http://www.frn.org.uk/)  or sell it on in your local newspaper (most local newspaper offer a free selling service for items under £200)

 

2. Clothing

Clothing will be the biggest hurdle to your de-cluttering effort in your bedroom, as most people will own far more of it than they will actually need. ¬†In todays society we will have winter and summer wardrobes, shoes, boots, belts, scarfs, accessories, hats, bags, jumpers… Where does it all live and do we need it all?

The first task is to open your wardrobe doors (and with your tough mind from the office de-clutter), be honest with yourself, in scrutinising your clothes and ask yourself the following questions

1) Do I wear it?

2) When was the last time I wore it? (My rule is a 6 months – If you have not wore one of your winter jumpers from October to April, remove it from the wardrobe)

3) Does it fit me? – Now this may sound like a crazy question but I know plenty of folk who keep clothes that are too small as they are their “Inspirational” clothes or they keep clothes too big for them “just in case”

4) Do I like it? – Again, not a crazy question, from personal¬†experinace, I had a dress that I very much liked on the hanger, however, it does nothing for me in real life; I would take it out of the wardrobe, try it on, hate it, take it off, hang it back up and repeat the pattern weeks/months later… Let it go

5) Will I wear it in the next 6 months? – I recommend¬†splitting¬†your wardrobe into Spring/Summer,¬†Autumn/Winter. When you are in one season the other half is packed up and put in the attic, under the bed, in a storage cupboard… you don’t need your snow boots and¬†woolly¬†jumpers in July!

For the clothes you have managed to part company with you can donate them to your local charity shop, in a clothes bank or have it collected from a national organisation (www.clothesaid.co.uk) or sell them (Ebay, PreLoved, BigWardrobe to name a few)

 

3. Bedding

Do you have bright colours, abstract designs or many colours, patterns and fabrics mish-mashed together? Your bedding may be too busy, making the room look cluttered or smaller than it is. Take a look at the below three points to help

1) Use White or neutral bedspreads and curtains to keep the room simple and fresh looking

2) Pillows – Less is more; do you really need a gazillion “show” pillows on your bed that you have to take on and off on a twice daily basis… really??

3)¬†Cuddly¬†toys – If you are under 10, we should have a review of how many you have and come to a mutually beneficial solution… if you are over 10 we need to talk! The odd teddy bear, even in a grown up bedroom, can be cute but to have a collection of 15 teddy bears is too much, looks too much, attracts too many bed bugs and lots of dust. Again, less is more sometimes

 

Okay you have reviewed your furniture, ransacked your wardrobes and drawers, removed 43 teddy bears and changed your bedding from flouresent pink to white with a hint of pink… now what?

Daily Tips 

1. Make your bed as soon as you get up and out of it

2. Open blinds/curtains straight away and open a window to air the room, even if only for the 10 minutes you are in the shower

3. When you get home from work/being out hang up your clothes or put them in the laundry, resist the urge to put on a chair (in fact let’s remove the chair!)

4. Avoid bedside clutter – you only need 1 drink, 1 pair of slippers, 1 reading book, 1 tube of hand cream etc

5. Keep an eye on yourself! Review new items you buy for your bedroom and where it will live, do you have space and do you even need it?

And so to bed…

 

 

Clear Your Mind, Clear your Office

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Day two of our mission to help you de-clutter your lives and living space. Today we talk about your office/desk space… now hands up, who has a desk that looks like a bomb has hit it?

I'm sure I had a stapler here somewhere...

Top 5 Tips to Cleaning Up Your Office

1. Clear your desk – That’s right, everything off!

Now you have a visible surface to polish and also a clean slate on which to start. Take a look at all the items that are now on the floor and ask yourself two things 1) What do I use on a DAILY basis? 2) What needs to be in reach? (This is where you have to be tough) ONLY the answers from those two questions get to make it back onto the desk everything else needs to be binned, recycled, filed or sold!

2. Book Cases, cupboards and shelves

A book case or storage cupboard is an invaluable¬†asset¬†in your office for giving items somewhere to live, however it is not to be used as a permanent filing stop gap for folders, books and binders, and so here’s what we are going to do…

1) Look at all books that you own and ask yourself do you need it? Is it relevant now (what are you keeping that 1980’s version of stream line your office for)? Will you ever read/re-read it? ¬†Depending on your answers…

a) Sell them (Psst! Try not to rush out and buy more books to replace the old ones!)

www.amazon.co.uk/trade-in

www.cash4books.net

www.fatbrain.co.uk

b) Donate them to your local library, Chamber of Commerce or Local Business Hub (not your Mills & Boon stuff obviously)

c) If you really must keep all of your books, think about storing them elsewhere if they are not needed¬†regularly. See this great post I came across to give you some ideas and inspiration “Top 5 Book Storage Ideas You Wish You¬†Thought¬†Of”

3. Paper, paper, paper

Ah paper, the life blood of us office types. We have masses of paper all over our offices; in drawers, binders, filing cabinets, folders, old notebooks etc. But how do we cut down on it and how do we aim to reach the utopia of a paperless office?

1) Remove your name from mailing lists Рsee our post yesterday about Junk Mail 

2) Paperless Billing – By swapping to electronic bills you will not only save trees but it is claimed 171 pounds of greenhouses gases, 63 gallons of water and 4.5 gallons of fuel annually for each paperless household, pretty impressive right for a small switch? Now if we could just find a way to stop them billing us in the first place…

3) If you still have to use “Snail Mail” for remote clients or friends why not tech it up a little by using digital snail mail over the internet? Will save you have stores of paper, envelopes, stamps etc and free up a tad more space in your office

www.pc2paper.co.uk

www.ukpostbox.com

4. ¬†Manage it – You will need a recycle box/bin and a two¬†tiered¬†filing tray labeled with “To Do” and “To File” – now go through your piles and they can only end up in one of 3 places!

4. Let’s Not Get Too Personal

It is nice to personalise your office; have some comforts and make it individual to you, however, a little too much personalisation can distract you and I take it you are at a desk to work and be productive? Ask yourself (time to be tough again) Do you really need 14 pictures of your children/dog/recent holiday/loved ones?? Yes we know you love them but resit the urge to daydream or get lost in the picture by keeping it for the home

5. Tidy up Time!

Impose your own clear desk policy,¬†especially¬†if you are a home worker. At the end of every day the last 10 minutes should be sent getting your desk in order for the following day ¬†– In a survey conducted by OfficeMax it was said that 77% of people claimed that a messy office had a negative impact on their¬†productivity, we don’t want that, we want to be in the 23% of productive people, we have goals to achieve this year, yes?

Now let’s get cracking… everything off your desk!


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 Рbrochures, 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 ūüėČ

www.stopjunkmail.org.uk

www.mpsonline.org.uk

www.catalogchoice.org

 

 

Help! I have knocked over nail varnish remover on my oak table

Ask Mrs Mopp... Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

New question with have been asked…

Q: I have spilt nail varnish remover on my lovely oak table – help!

A: First off DO NOT RUB as you will make it worse, blot it up with paper towels – Now below are a couple of natural remedies that have been proven to work, HOWEVER always test in an inconspicuous area first

1. Put a paper towel over the stain then put an iron over the top, holding on for a few seconds at a time

2. Mayonnaise is the other remedy that helps and it is thought it is the fats in the mayo that will lift the varnish – rub on the stain, leave for 2 hours and then wipe off with a damp cloth

3. Ashes from a fire place rub into the stain and then wiped off with a damp cloth after an hour

Good luck!

 

Got a cleaning question? Ask Mrs Mopp…¬†http://www.facebook.com/mrsmoppcleaningservices

How Do I Remove Fly Poop From My Silk Curtains?

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A question we have been asked…

Q: How do I remove fly Poop from silk curtains?

A: The three things that would be worth a try (in order) are 1) Sugar soap 2) Lemon and salt paste 3) Baby shampoo… HOWEVER always test an inconspicuous patch first to test. To avoid in the future, try netting across windows and door in the summer months

 

Got a cleaning question? Post it here to ask Mrs Mopp http://www.facebook.com/mrsmoppcleaningservices