How Do I Choose the Right Cleaning Service?

How Do I Choose the Right Cleaning Service?

Cleaning Articles & Guides

I’ve been in the cleaning business for many years and I know people can be confused about the various options for finding a cleaner. So what are the pros and cons and how do you choose the cleaning service that is right for you and your home?

I’ve been in the cleaning business for many years and I know people can be confused about the various options for finding a cleaner. So what are the pros and cons and how do you choose the cleaning service that is right for you and your home?

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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

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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

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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Images from bubbles.com

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?

 

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

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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! Black Nail Varnish On My Beige Carpet

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Q: A friends baby has spilled black nail varnish on a beige carpet. Can someone please tell me how to get it up?

 

A: 1. You can use nail polish remover. I would recommend if you take this route it in acetone free remover as acetone is a stripper and it may bleach the carpet.This method is only recommended on white or very light carpets. ALWAYS test an inconspicious area in the room first that no one will ever see . I would also recommend diluting the nail varnish remover down with water. Scrub the stain with the mixture, always keeping it wet (so that it doesn’t dry into fibers) rinse of with clean water and repeat the process until the stain is gone

2. Use a lot of water, keep the stain wet! Use about 15-20 squirts of hair spray and 3-5 splashes of rubbing alcohol. Scrub gently with a small nail/tooth brush. Blot with kitchen towels. Repeat as necessary. Don’t forget to keep pouring water during the process so the stain doesn’t settle

3.Spray with window cleaner, scrub, rinse, blot repeat – Again ALWAYS test on a small area first. Some folk swear by window cleaner.

4. White vinegar dabbed, not rubbed onto the stained area repeatedly until the stain lifted

I hope this helps and good luck!

 

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

 

 

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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