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?

 

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

 

 

 

Is guilt preventing you from hiring help in your home?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

You work full time, you are a parent full time, a spouse or partner full time and you are on the go full time. You  meet yourself coming backwards, run out of hours in the day and still you will not hire the help you know need. But why? What is stopping you?

It’s that nagging guilty feeling in the back of your head isn’t it… and I bet it says these things to you:

1. Only the rich and well off have cleaners, we don’t need one, we can’t afford one. People will think that I think I am Lady/Lord Muck?

2. I should clean my own house – my house, my mess, my responsibility right? How lazy would I be to hire someone else to do tasks I don’t want to do?

3. I feel like I would be exploiting someone. What if the cleaner thinks that I think I am better than them? How do I handle being a boss/client and telling the cleaner what I want to be done without coming across all superior and Lord-Like?

guilt

Can I read minds? No, sadly I cannot, but I have worked in this industry many years and have done hundreds of quotations in peoples homes. What I have found is this: Women fight with the decision to hire a cleaner far more than men do. Men see it as a practical necessity; who has time for cleaning bathrooms? Women, however, have a harder time – they guilt trip themselves into thinking that they should be able to do and have it all; then they feel inadequate when they can’t keep a hundred and twenty-seven (often self-imposed) plates in the air at all times, it’s a vicious circle of guilt and pressure.

My advice? Let it go people! Take a deep breath and come join us in the 21st century and step out of the pre-programming of an old society and out dated gender roles: it is okay to ask ¬†for (and hire) help! You are not a bad person for not¬†cleaning¬†your own¬†toilet,¬†you are not a bad person for sending your ironing out to be done and you are not a bad person for having a gardener cut your lawn – you are a busy person and a hard working person and you deserves to have some quality time to yourself and if you could give yourself some quality time, you would wouldn’t you, it’s a no brainer?

How to tell the guilt monsters to hush!

1. Only the rich and well off have cleaners

Maybe once upon time that was true but now, with busy lifestyles, a fast-living culture and individuals having more disposable income than before, it is no longer the case. Did you know that over 6 million people in the UK employ a regular cleaning service in their homes and this number grows year on year? Having a cleaning service is for people of all walks of life and I guarantee that there is a cleaning service out there that will suit your needs and your budget. See my earlier posts on What To Look For In A Cleaning Service and What Are the Different Types of Cleaning Service Available.

Even if you cannot afford a weekly service, you could think about having a clean every month, or maybe every quarter. At the very least I would recommend a deep clean/spring clean at least once a year to tackle all the jobs that everybody loves to avoid.

2. I should clean my own house

Firstly, says who? Where is that written other than in 1950’s Good Housewife Guides? Let me ask you – Did you build your own house? Do you grow all your own food? Do you sew all your own clothes? No, no you do not, (other than in imaginary Pintrest World ūüėČ ). You feel perfectly comfortable paying for those services to be done for you; why would paying someone else to clean your home be any different?

Secondly, unless you live alone, you will not be the only person responsible for making the mess. As was a great, and often repeated phrase of my mothers throughout my childhood: “I did not make the mess alone, so I am not cleaning it alone” – Now you can either 1. draw up a family/roommate cleaning rota (future post coming up about this) and live with the moans, groans and half jobs as your children/spouse/partner/roommate attempt¬†to make you stop asking them for domestic help, 2. mutter sentences of resentment to yourself whilst you¬†begrudgingly¬†clean the¬†kitchen¬†floor because no one has mopped it in three weeks, or 3. You can hire a cleaning service to come in once a week/fortnight/month to help you keep on top of it all without all the drama and family rows.¬†

3. I feel like I would be exploiting someone

Now unless you are forcing someone into cleaning your bath tub I would imagine that there will be no exploiting going on. In the 1911 UK Census there were 1.3 million people employed as domestic servants, more than in any other industry; the hiring of help within the home is nothing new. Cleaners (some 800,000 thousand registered cleaners in the UK today) have voluntarily decided that cleaning is the job they want to do, just like you decided on your job or profession.

Some people see cleaning as lowly profession, even among the working classes, and that I take great insult at and is a myth I try to dispel within my own work force… cleaning is a very noble job; without cleaners, shops, schools, hospitals, doctors surgeries, dentists, heck even the roads and pathways would not be open or function the way they should. I tell my staff that cleaners are like the fourth emergency service; the silent, forever working presence to every backdrop in society. Do not feel sorry for someone being a cleaner, they are not wanting sympathy, most cleaners are happy and take great pride in their work and enjoy to clean, so you are not exploiting anybody, it is their job.

As long as you speak to your cleaner in the same manner you would speak to anyone else you interact with then there are no problems. If you are unhappy about an element of your clean or need to give a different set of instructions to your normal clean, just approach your cleaner as you would a colleague for example, in a friendly, polite and straight forward manner. Cleaners want to do a good job, they like to have happy clients and will not take offense at an area that was missed being pointed out or being given a list of different tasks.

As a final point, and just as a forewarning,  even when you hire a cleaning service you may still feel pangs of guilt and also resentment at some one else cleaning your home when you feel like you should be doing it. This is normal and is something I will cover that in next weeks post to help you overcome.

If you have any thoughts or feelings (or stories) about the topic of guilt when hiring a cleaning sevices, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

NEXT WEEK: Top 3 Cleaning Client Problems And How To deal With Them 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

What Can Mrs Mopp Do For YOU?

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The New Year is upon us and as we venture into year 5 with our business, we would like to know what YOU would like to see from Mrs Mopp Cleaning Services – Please take 2 minutes to complete our quick survey about tips, blogs and prizes and help us keep all content relevant, helpful and useful for our readers.

What would you like to see from Mrs Mopp in 2013?

With our thanks for your help and co-operation ūüôā

Christmas Opening 2012

Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

‘Tis the season to be jolly, far-a-la-a-la-a-la-la-la..

Once again the festive period is almost upon us. For the first time in our trading history we have decided to have a complete Christmas shutdown, due to the days the season falls this year and to be able to spend some time with our families and friends, so we are all ready and  refreshed for 2013.

 

 

We will be closing, for Christmas, on Friday 21st December 2012 and re-opening and back to work on Wednesday 2nd January 2013. 

We will not be undertaking any cleaning, ironing or laundry works over this period, unless it has been previously agreed with our office and Moppettes. Normal cleaning schedules will commence the 02/01/13 – should you have any queries or wish to re-arrange/add/change/or move a clean and/or laundry collections please email our offices on info@mrsmopp.com

We thank you for your custom and support through out 2012 and we look forward to serving you in 2013. Have a very Merry Christmas and we all wish you the best of health, wealth and prosperity for the new year

Best wishes,

Kelly and all staff at Mrs Mopp

I need some help in my home… now what?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Modern life is busy – we have demanding jobs, demanding relationships, demanding children and¬†demanding¬†social lives. So how do we “have it all” and stay on top of this game called life? Well, just as in business, there comes a time when you need to delegate the jobs you just don’t have time for/are no good at/take you an age to do/you don’t have the skills for etc. by employing some outside help.

So, before you start to drown in your martyr-dom of trying to do everything… take your underware off from the outside of your trousers and look for some help!

Do you drown in the demands on your time? Maybe time for some outside help!

 

There are many ways that we can all relieve the stress from our daily lives by hiring other people to take on the burdens for us; there are life organisers, like Tick It Off, who will take on anything you have going on; from de-cluttering tasks, to organising a party, to organising your home office or schedule, to returning your library books. There are pet groomers, pet walkers, gardeners, window cleaners, child minders, painters, repair men and, of course, cleaners.

So now that we have admitted to our self we need help, what are the next stages?

1. Do your research

Weather you are looking for a dog groomer, a life coach or a cleaner you need to do your homework. With the wonderful world of the online web, you don’t even have to leave your chair to do this! Use search engines to type in what you are looking for and in what area, then have a look at several websites (also check out any Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Google+ etc sites they may have). How does their online presence look? What types of things do they post about? Do they have a large following? Do they have recommendations or testimonials online about their business? Do they interact with their audience?

You can find out a lot on a person/business from the internet – does the business you are looking at relate to you? Do you like how they write/interact? Do they provide value to their online visitors?

2. Have 3 quotes

So you’ve looked online, there are a couple of websites you like the look of and their Facebook profiles seem to be exactly what you are looking for. Now what?

Make contact. Call them, email them or submit a website query form – How did they answer? How long did it take for someone to come back to you? Did they sound friendly and keen for your business?

Next, invite them to your home – personally I suggest seeing the top 3 you liked the look of online. Try and see the prospective businesses on the same day, if you can, so that the meetings stay fresh in your mind and are easier to compare. Ask all to bring copies of their insurance, their references and evidence of their work if applicable, then…

3. Interview the potential business

Any personal service worth their salt should be able to answer any question you throw at them regarding their services. Don’t be afraid to draw up a list of questions so that you don’t forget or get caught up with the sales pitch without actually finding out if that service fits your needs. Some questions I would suggest are as follows;

1. How long have you been trading?

2. What did you do before this business?

3. Who does the work, you or do you have staff?

4. How do you train and vet your staff?

5. Have you ever had to claim against your insurance?

6. How do you monitor your quality?

7. What do I do if I ever have a problem or am not happy with an element of your service?

8. How do I pay you?

9. What makes you different from your competitors?

10. (The million dollar question) Do you have references I can contact who will validate your service?

Just as you would at work – get the best people for the job in your home

 

Now that you have looked at the businesses online, had 3 quotes to compare and interviewed each business inside-and-out, you should have all the information you need to employ your outside help. So, make that call, offer that work to the service business and then go and sit down with a cup of tea and decide what you are going to do with that free time you have just given¬†yourself…

 

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 РAgain 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!