3 Things To Consider Before You Hire A Cleaner

3 Things To Consider Before You Hire A Cleaner

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Still uming and aring about hiring a cleaner to clean your home or office, but can’t decide?

Here, we give you 3 things to consider before you hire a cleaner

3 Things To Consider Before You Hire A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

1. Define The Job Role And Tasks

Think about what tasks it is that you need help with in your home or office. Think about what rooms you would like to be cleaned and what rooms you would prefer to be left alone, or only cleaned once a month for example. Think about the tasks within the rooms you want to have done. Think about your requirements; do you need someone to just blitz your bathrooms and kitchens once a week? Do you need someone to vacuum and polish all the offices and communal areas? Do you need someone who will do laundry and iron your shirts?

You need to know what you want in order to find the right cleaning service for you, your needs and your budget.

The standard cleaning chores you should expect, from a paid service, are high and low level dusting, polishing, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms and toilets, kitchen cleaning and wiping of worktops and sides. Some cleaning companies will clean skirting boards as standard, some won’t. Some cleaning companies will wash up dirty dishes, or clean your windows and some won’t. It is best to know what you want in your home or office to able to ask the question on the telephone or by looking at the businesses website, to determine the best cleaning service for you.

2. Be Prepared To Pay For The Service You Want

It would be divine to have a housekeeper or a cleaning maid that came to your home every day and made the whole place sparkle from top to bottom wouldn’t it? Now unless you are Rockefeller, this is probably not an option for a lot of people. You need to think about your cleaning service in the same way as you would about any outgoing liability for your house or office and think about what you can afford to pay for cleaning services every month and make it part of your household budget.

Your budget may effect the cleaning company you choose or the hours you are able to have somebody in but it will give you a starting point on which is the best type of cleaning service to approach. If price is your only driver for a cleaning service, you may end with what you pay for, cheaper is not always better, especially when it comes to your home or office.

Make sure you have a payment agreement in place with your cleaner/cleaning business and ensure you abide by their invoicing terms and conditions.

3. Expectations and Boundaries

Okay, so to put it out there, hiring a cleaner does not mean you have hired your very own Cinderella, there are limits. Along with the job role being defined and all the tasks that are to be done, it is also important to talk to your cleaning service provider about expectations and standards.

For example, your cleaner should do a quicker and better job than you can, if they have been trained correctly, however, your cleaner does not posses super powers and cannot clean your five bed-roomed, 3 bath-roomed executive home, top-to-bottom in 2 hours. In this case, you may need to think about singling out the most important tasks for 2 hours or change your expectation of cost and time of a through job. The point is to be realistic in your expectation of time needed for the job.

A cleaner is not there to look after your children whilst you pop out, walk your dog, put your supermarket shopping away or answer the telephone whilst the receptionist goes downstairs; they are there as cleaners and there to clean.

If you do need to change the clean  the maid will be doing or add something extra to the clean , before you write a note on the day of your clean, please call the office of the cleaner a day or two before to see if the cleaner has the time available for the extra tasks firstly, and if not to book the extra time the week later. If you do leave notes for your cleaner, then please arrange for the extras to be done on the following clean when the cleaner has arranged their time or other clients, has all the right equipment needed etc. It is not good etiquette to just expect your cleaner to undertake extra time at the blink of an eye, as they may have other clients, children or an appointment to get to.

Make sure the boundaries for your home are clear regarding wearing shoes, having a mobile telephone with them, where their coat and bags are to be kept whilst cleaning etc. As always the communication is the key.

As always, I would love to hear any thoughts or comments you may have, done below. Please drop by and say Hello on Facebook or Twitter ūüôā

Mrs Mopp x

 

 

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 ūüôā )

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 Should I Look For In A Cleaner?

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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

 

 

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

 

 

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 Рthis 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 РUsing 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 Рwash 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 Рif 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 Рthis 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 ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To De-Clutter Your Bedroom

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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…

 

 

How do I clean up damp patches in my home?

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How to clean up mold problems

‚ÄúSmall areas‚ÄĚ 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