Should You Clean Up Before The Cleaner Comes?

Should You Clean Up Before The Cleaner Comes?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot
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Should you clean up for your cleaner?  The answer to this, in a broad definition  would have to be no. Clean is the wrong word, a better word would be tidy. If the question was “should you tidy up for your cleaner” then the answer is most definitely yes.

You pay a cleaner to clean and not to tidy up. You will get a lot more for your money if your cleaner can get in and actually clean, rather than putting toys away or picking up clothes from the floor.

You should not have to clean up for your cleaner – the only exception to this rule is if you don’t clean at all in between cleaning visits. Whilst not cleaning your home in between weekly visits is fine, for fortnightly, monthly or longer gaps without cleaning, you should be keeping on top of certain areas or you should expect to have to pay for more time from your cleaner to get on top of 2,3,4, 6 weeks of dirt and grime.

Top 5 Things You Can Do To Help Get The Best From Your Cleaning Time

1. Put away toys in toy chests, pick up clothes from the floor, put DVDS back in the case and put back on the shelf etc. Make sure the clutter is cleared.

2. Make sure your dirty dishes are washed and put away – the great majority of cleaners do not wash dishes as standard, and from a cleaning point of view, dirty dishes can prevent a cleaner getting to the sink to clean and sanitize it and will ruin the look of a finished kitchen

3. If you are providing the cleaning materials always ensure there is enough cleaning solutions and the correct cloths. Always make sure you have a well working vacuum cleaner and that you regularly buy new mop heads and cleaning cloths.

4. Agree beforehand with the cleaner/business what tasks are to be done in the home. If the home is large, or all of the home is not used, draw up a cleaning schedule, (or a business will do that for you) and decide on what tasks will be done on what visit. Be specific in your needs and expectations

5. Know that there are certain things it is not okay to expect your cleaner to do – like take out the rubbish, sort out your recycling, put your clothes away, clean your outside windows etc. If you need help with extra tasks, by all means ask the cleaner/business if it something they would be willing to do or if they have a service they could recommend, but always be prepared to pay extra for the additional services that goes above and beyond the cleaners standard clean

If you have any thoughts or feelings on this post, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

NEXT WEEK: How To Complain To Your Cleaner

Top 3 Cleaning Client Problems and How To Deal WIth Them

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So you have gotten over your guilt; you have reasoned with yourself about the pros and cons and you have hired some home-help to clean for you. Good for you. This is great right? You have a cleaner and that is one more worry you can cross of your list, or is it? Here we will look at the top 3 cleaning client problems and how you can overcome them, leaving a happier you (and a happy cleaner and cleaning business 🙂 )

1. You feel guilty, agitated, angry and maybe even a teeny-weeny resentful towards your cleaner.

Believe it or not this is quite normal and something I have seen a lot, especially in homes that have never used a cleaning service before and more so from the lady of the house. If you have always cleaned your own home, even begrudgingly so, it is normal to still feel a pang of guilt that you are not doing it and someone else is. For the first few weekends, of not having to clean your bathroom on a Saturday, you may feel a bit lost with your time and feel guilty that you have that time available now.

You may feel irritated that your cleaner does not put all your cushions back on your sofa the way that you do, or you may feel annoyed that your cleaner always moves the position of your bread bin in the kitchen. You may not like it that your house is complemented on and you feel “bested” by another, when no one ever complimented your home before. Sounds crazy but believe me, over weeks that slight little irritation, of an ornament the wrong way, can turn into a huge resentment and problem.

Solve: Please just talk to your cleaner or, if you don’t like the confrontation, please talk to their supervisor. The cleaner will not mind that you prefer you shampoo bottles ordered from left to right, or that you like your pillows at right angles on your sofa.. truly, just tell us that is what you want. If a cleaner does not clean in the way you would like, then you have to ask yourself two things 1. Is the job done to a good standard even if not to my method? 2. Can I live with the cleaning not being done to my method?

If the problem is you don’t like someone doing an equal or better job than you would do, the way I see it, you can either stop the cleaning service and become a martyr to yourself and go back to cleaning at the weekends or you could be positive about it and write an email to the cleaning business telling them what a great job their cleaner has done; this will make you feel good that you are praising and

Top 3 Client Problems

lifting someone else and it will make your cleaner feel really good and that they are appreciated. Cleaners love client feedback, so if they do a good job, tell them so.

2. You don’t trust your cleaner

There is nothing worse, from a cleaners point of view, than a client setting “traps” around their home for them. If the cleaning service is not providing a good enough job or to the standards you would like or expect, then please talk to the cleaner/supervisor about your issues so that they may get sorted out – it may be a case of your cleaner needs more training, or your cleaner may need to be changed, or your cleaner may not have enough physical time available to do all the tasks and didn’t want to bring it up. Whatever the issue, it can be sorted out with communication, not with tricks and trying to catch people out, that is not nice and I am sure you wouldn’t like it if someone tried to deliberately trip you up on your work.

If you are setting traps or having people watch your house for times etc., then you obviously do not trust your cleaning provider and you need to ask yourself why, as it was you that hired them? Is it that you are new to having a cleaner and feel uncomfortable about having a “stranger” in your home? Is it that you feel your cleaner is scamming you on time or is sitting and watching TV instead of cleaning? Again, please talk to the cleaner/supervisor about your concerns. A good cleaning company should have several vetting and reference checks for cleaners and have policies for key handling etc. and should be able to set your mind at ease by explaining their business and how it works to you. If you are still not happy, start looking for a new cleaning provider who you do feel comfortable talking to.

3. You don’t value your cleaner as a priority service

By not valuing I generally mean in regards to payment habits from clients.

When you engage a cleaner, in whatever capacity you do, please ensure that there is an agreed payment policy in place and that it is adhered to. If you have agreed to pay cash at the end of every clean, please ensure you have the right amount. If you are invoiced on a monthly basis, please set up a standing order or arrange the online payment to reach the cleaners bank by the due by date and, if you still live in the dark ages, and use cheques, then please get them into the business prior to the invoice deadline so that they may clear in time.

Your cleaning service works hard for their money and should be paid on time and the correct amount, just as you would pay any other supplier. Over the years I have had some clients take offense if I send them an “overdue” letter and I even had a phone call once asking “who did I think I was” telling them their bill was late! I have also had other clients who will receive a bill for £65 and will pay only £60, consistently, and then argue if I send them overdue invoices for the outstanding amounts… you would not do this with your credit card bill or with mortgage or in a supermarket, so please don’t do it to your cleaning service. If you have an issue with your invoice, call the cleaner/offices and discuss it, ask to see timesheet records or cleaning records to verify times. If you were unhappy with the clean, did you bring it up with the cleaner/supervisor on the day? Deciding to not pay full amounts, without any prior discussion with the cleaner is not fair or right.

If you do not like having to pay cash weekly or you don’t want pay monthly, or you would pay on x day of the month as that is when you get paid, then talk to your cleaner/supervisor and see if there is alternative way to make payment. Treat your cleaner as you would any other business.

Communication in any problem is always key.

I would love to hear your thoughts or feelings on any of the above points.

Thank you for reading – Mrs Mopp x

NEXT WEEK: Should You Clean Up Before Your Cleaner Comes?

 

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! 😉 )

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 – please 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 – the 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  🙂

Mrs Mopp x

 

 

 

What Different Types Of Cleaning Service Are There?

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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 – £11 per hour. Personally I would suggest paying a private cleaner around £7 – £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 – £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 – 58 per clean – the 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  – Mrs Mopp x

 

 

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

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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

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

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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!

 

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Why Are Dusters Yellow?

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One of our stranger but fun questions…

Q: Why are dusters yellow?

A: It seems no one knows for sure but I’ve come across 3 explanations that are the most plausible

1. In the first half of the nineteenth century a large quantity of bright yellow cotton cloth was imported from Nanking in China, and subsequently imitated and produced in Britain, from which highly fashionable trousers (Nankeens) were made. After the garments wore out, the remaining cloth was recycled as polishing rag in the hands of the thrifty.

2. Dusters are yellow because it’s the colour of the flag hoisted on a ship before coming into port to let those ashore know that the crew were all fit and clean!

3. Connected with spring, such as daffodils and the expression ‘to be as busy as a (yellow) bee’. Spring cleaning with (yellow) wax and duster is an almost symbolic gesture of spreading sunlight around the home.

 

Why are dusters yellow?

Now you know… 😉

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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

 

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How do I clean up damp patches in my home?

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How to clean up mold problems

“Small areas” of mold can be cleaned with a detergent solution.
Wear a mask, safety goggles and rubber gloves.
Seek professional help if there is a lot of mold or if mold comes back after cleaning.
Bleach is NOT recommended

The presence of organic (humic) materials, the pH (acidity/alkalinity) of the water, the surface material and contact time affect the effectiveness of bleach for disinfection. Since these factors are not generally controlled, bleach cannot be relied upon for disinfection. The most compelling reason for advising against bleach is that fumes are harmful but in addition, overuse of bleach will result in increased releases of chlorinated effluents which can be harmful to the environment.

Small area clean-up

You can clean up small areas of mold (fewer than three patches, each smaller than a square meter) yourself. The minimum protective wear needed are:

safety glasses or goggles
a disposable dust mask
household rubber gloves.

**Infants and other family members with asthma, allergies or other health problems should not be in the work area or adjacent room during the cleaning **

Washable surfaces:

Scrub with an unscented detergent solution; then sponge with a clean, wet rag and dry quickly.

Using an unscented detergent will make it easier for you to detect residual moldy odours.

Got a cleaning question?? Ask Mrs Mopp Cleaning Services