Will a cleaning business suit my needs?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

To continue on with our “Why use a cleaning service” post; after looking at sole traders previously, we will be looking at cleaning businesses and what the Pros and Cons are for homeowners thinking of using a cleaning service

What is a cleaning business?

A cleaning business is usually a number of cleaners that all work for the one business. A cleaning business may still trade in a sole trader capacity but most will trade in a Limited company capacity as the business grows. Some cleaning businesses may also be registered for VAT, depending on their size and turnover. The business is normally owned/run by an individual and is a private business operating in the owners local area.

Mrs Mopp Cleaning Services is a cleaning business.

The pros of using a cleaning business

  • One of the disadvantages of sole traders is that if your cleaner is sick/on holiday/breaks a leg the homeowner is left without a cleaner. In a cleaning business, as there are normally several cleaners and/or bank staff, so that you as the client should never have an uninterrupted service
  • There are usually several ways for clients to pay when using a cleaning business such as online, by card, direct debit etc. as a business will service several clients a day, compared to a sole trader, and it is not feasible or safe to be collecting money off every clean, making it easier for the clients to pay their bills and budget their own household.
  • The pricing within cleaning businesses tend not to be hugely dissimilar to sole traders with rate from £8.50 – £12.50 per hour  being the average rates and depending on if the business is subject to VAT, provides the cleaning materials etc. – with added security of an uninterrupted cleaning service, higher insurance cover and fidelity bonding on staff and an up-line for complaints
  • Some people do not like to complain when they are not getting the service they would like. With a sole trader, whilst a pro is that the relationship between cleaner/client may be closer that can cause problems in its own right if the relationship does become too friendly, as to tell your cleaner you are not happy may result in you not having a cleaner at all or putting up with a service you do not want as to not rock the boat. With a cleaning business, there is a manager you can talk to who can either have a word with your cleaner or even replace your cleaner all together if necessary
  • Spot checks and training of staff to ensure standards are met and kept

The cons of using a cleaning business

  • Due to the hard and arduous nature of work, there is usually a high turnover of staff within the cleaning industry, so even though you may not have an uninterrupted service it may not always be the same cleaner that will come to your home
  • A cleaning business may have a contract or at the very least Terms of service which may impose charges on a client for cancellations and lock outs, for example, as the cleaning business will have an obligation to its staff regardless, whereas a sole trader only has to think about their own time and money.
  • As businesses grow, some may lose the “personal touch” as was there in the beginning as sole trader due to the number of staff, clients, suppliers etc that the owner will have to deal with and the client may not feel as loved as they once did

Checklist for a cleaning business

1. Does the business have Employers liability insurance, Public liability insurance, at a minimum of £1 million and do they have fidelity bonding against their staff – can they provide you with a copy of their insurances?

2. Does the business have references from clients they currently serve? What is the retention rate of their clients?

3. Can the business show and tell you how they recruit, train and monitor their staff?

4. How does the business keep in touch with its clients as not to lose that “personal touch”?

5. What does social media think of the business? Check online, do they have good/bad reviews, what does their customer service levels come across like? Do they have visibility on the web? Could you connect with your Cleaning business through multiple channels?

Next week: Cleaning franchises.

Top 10 Guide to Spring Cleaning

Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Okay, so since the last post we’ve all de-cluttered, made space in our home or office and are now ready to start the actual task of the spring cleaning right? (If not, please go back a step and read our de-cluttering post  to get you on track)

To help you along with this big annual task I have put together this guide along with some useful hints and tips to help you achieve a clean, fresh, sparkly home without too much pain, so lets get on shall we as we have homes and offices to make beautiful…

1) Get bodies on board – A spring clean is not a task to be done on your lonesome, it’s a big job and should you try to be a hero and do it alone you could be trapped in your property until next spring!  Recruit your fellow family members, colleagues, flat mates  or use a professional service, as I am sure you did not create the mess alone, so don’t take on the task of cleaning it alone!


Children can help with wiping walls, wiping cupboards,  dusting and using a feather duster among other duties and if children  are set a task  and are given the authority for it, not only will  you have less work  to do, but your children will  feel important and like they make a  difference in the home…  also bribery of ice cream afterwards, trip  to park, movie  night etc usually help too.

2) Check you have the tools – Before you psyche yourself up and start doing your stretching exercises and limbering up for the cleaning event (not compulsory 😉 ) check to make sure you have all the tools you need to be able to undertake your spring clean.

You will need:

  • Jay cloths – Normally coloured, light textured cloths that can be bought cheaply and are excellent for wiping sides/doors/paintwork and can be thrown away afterwards or washed and used again
  • Sponges – Ideally the sponges with the scouring pads on are best and are great for cleaning baths/sinks/stubborn marks on worktops/kitchen cupboards etc.
  • Microfibre cloths – these are soft cloths that feel a little like a child’s blanket – I personally love these cloths and they are great tool to have in any cleaning box – my advice is don’t always think cheap with these, as they can be washed and re-used (no fabric softener or tumble dryers please as they ruins the cloth and it won’t work as well). Microfibres are used for buffing and polishing as well as cleaning and are excellent for shining your sink in your bathroom to making your windows sparkle
  • Bowl/bucket – Needed for hot soapy water for cleaning paintwork, walls and doors
  • Mop and vacuum
  • Feather duster
  • Bin liners
  • Products – Be your products the natural remedies or the over the counter cleaning agents you will need, in some description; multi surface cleaner, polish, glass cleaner, de-scaler, anti-bacterial wipes, bleach and plenty of elbow grease!

3) Start up, work down – Help gravity out, by always starting at the top of the room and work downwards – so ceiling dusting for cobwebs, then walls, then door and architrave, then skirting, then floor

4) Get behind the big stuff – spring cleaning is that time when we move the settee, pull out the beds, move the kitchen dresser etc in order to get behind them and clean those areas – Please never do this alone, pair up with another and remember “knees bend, back straight, we go up without a break”. Use your crevice tool for the hard to reach places to go over the carpeted or hard floor area and also the skirting

*** top tip *** If you have cream or lighter coloured carpets you may notice around the edges it will still look dark after vacumming, this is trapped hair and dust and it will never come out with a vacuum alone, even using the crevice tool. Solution? Wrap a damp jay cloth around your finger tip and run it between the wall and carpet, it collects all dust and hair in one go.

Okay, now the nitty-gritty, are you ready?

5) Cleaning walls –  After using your feather duster to go around the ceiling, its time to start on the walls. The first thing to do is eliminate the dust that will naturally settle.For a textured wall, use nylon socks over your broom head as this will prevent snagging and stop you having lots of matted and ripped material stuck to your wall. For wall-papered walls,  a normal yellow duster will suffice, attached on to your broom head and brush the walls from the top down 

After dusting off all walls, take a look for marks (especially finger and hand prints where people may lean or touch i.e. by light switches, door handles, the water cooler), if you paint is washable then please wipe away with a multi surface cleaner, if you have paint that is not washable or you have wallpaper that has greasy or crayon marks for example, panic not,  a art-gum to erase marks could be used among many other solutions

6) Cleaning windows – Windows can be tricky and personally I find that allot of the over-the-counter cleaners, whilst smelling very nice don’t often deliver on their “no streaks” promise. I find washing the windows with good old fashioned soapy water (or 1 part water, 1 part white vinegar if you’d prefer) and then buffing with either newspaper or a good quality micro fibre will do a very nice job.  My two top tips are to firstly clean your windows on a cloudy day when it is not sunny or too warm and secondly buff one side in one direction and, should you do the outsides too, to  buff the other side in the opposite direction so that if there are smears you can tell which side is the culprit!

7) Cleaning paintwork – Using your bowl, jay cloths and sponges wash all architrave (door frames), doors and skirting boards in the rooms – Psst don’t forget the top of the door frames and to wipe over your doors and architrave afterwards with a microfibre to have high gloss finish without water marks

Also wash down banisters, spindles, strings (the triangle piece up the side of the stairs don’t-you-know) and hand railings as these areas get very dusty, very grimy and carry germs that can lead to viruses.

8 ) Wooden flooring – Grit is the enemy of the wooden floor, so in order to prevent a build up it is always best to have mats for visitors to wipe their shoes off before they step on your floor. Regularly brush or vacuum (on flat setting, no brush bars please as they will scratch) or invest in a microfibre flat head mop, as theses can be used for buffing as well as collecting dust and grit

With wooden floors it is best to “mist” the mop head (spray solution onto it) rather then the traditional method with a mop and bucket, as the water residue will sit on top of the floor and will, over time, cause damage to the flooring

*** Top Tip*** When cleaning your wooden floor, attach a waxed piece of paper to the bottom of your flat-head microfibre or broom – this will not only pick up any little bits that were stuck to the floor but will also polish the floor too!

9) Cleaning Kitchens – On a spring clean, the kitchen (along with bathroom) should have the longest time spent on them, as they are the two areas of your home that will encounter high traffic. In the kitchen all kitchen cupboards should be washed both inside and out, all kick boards, pelmets and handles. As well as the paintwork, windows and walls the other areas to pay attention too are the appliances, a great tip is to wipe them over with vinegar and lemon juice to keep white and buff afterwards to keep that new look shine. Also tips for a clean sink are to use lighter fluid (yes really) on stainless steel sinks to get rid of any staining – on porcelain sinks, place paper towels on the bottom of the sink and drench in household bleach, leave for 8 hours overnight and hey presto a lovely sparkly sink (not to be used on coloured sink please)

A top tip for your refrigerator is to place a small box of baking powder in there to eliminate odours

10) Cleaning bathrooms – In my opinion bathrooms should dazzle and shine, they are place we go to get clean ourselves and therefore it should be clean to  begin with as what’s the pointing of bathing in a dirty tub?

For bathrooms, all walls, tiles, grout and paint work should be washed, as well as the toilet (don’t forget the back of the toilet where the pipes are and the sides where the toilet bolts in, both places that collect allot of dust and grime) the hand basin, shower tray and bath – then all should be buffed to a high shine with your microfibre.

My biggest bugbear with bathrooms is glass and chrome – these should sparkle within a bathroom and my ideal clean is when a shower is so clean it looks like it has no glass in it at all – to achieve this the product I would recommend would be Viakal or for those that prefer the natural remedy, use 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup ammonia and 1/2 baking powder to one gallon water – use your dis-scalers all over the screen, scrub lightly with a sponge scourer, rinse, wipe off dry and buff and you will have a shower of a luxery hotel in your very own bathroom

So there we have it my top ten guide of spring cleaning… now go and get your marigolds on as we have work to  do  😉

Top 10 tips to de-cluttering

Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Are you someone who is a victim of the evil clutter fairy? Do you hold onto everything “Just in case” ? If you are let us help you out with our TEN TOP TIPS of De-cluttering, to help you start to part with the unnescessary objects and clutter you keep – We promise you’ll feel better for it!

1) Don’t procastinate any longer – set a date for the decluttering to start and stick to it

2) Get someone you know and trust to help you, be that a friend or a professional service – another person with you will give you the motivation and confidence to be tough with your throwing out!

3) Pick one room and keep on that room until it is cleared in full – Clear out the cupboards, the drawers, the wardrobes, under beds, on top of wardrobes etc and don’t start on another room until that room is done

4) If you just cannot face a massive onslaught on your clutter, let’s start with nice, easy bite size chunks of 15 miniutes every day – little by little you will start to feel better as you see the light (and spacious worktops) at the end of the tunnel.. One room at a time though

5) When making a cup of tea, whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, spend those 3 minutes tidying the kitchen – start sorting through your “junk drawer” (every house is guilty of having one!) throw away old tupperware tubs with no lids, throw out the empty/almost empty bottles under your sink etc,  remember little and easy!

6)  The 1 In – 2 out rule. In order to not re-clutter, for every new item brought into the home/office, two items must leave… no cheating though, throwing out a piece of paper and empty toliet roll tube does not count! This rule will curb your spontanous buying and may even save you money too! Yay!

7)  The clothing rule – If you have not worn it, or even looked at it, in the past 12 months, bag it and deliver it it to your local charity shop

8 ) The Twelve Month rule – If you just cannot face to throw certain items away as it plays on your mind that you may just wear it one day (acid house smiley tops are NEVER coming back trust me!) or you think you may use it, fix it, need it etc put all these “in case the world ends” items into a box, seal up the box and put the box in the loft… IF you get to 12 months and you have not opened the box, donate the whole box to a charity shop of your choice (without opening, as that would only tempt you again) If you didn’t need it in a year, you do not need it at all!

9) The “Do I really need it?” rule – Every time you are shopping or out and about and feel the urge to buy the latest gadget or gismo or yet another pair of shoes, write it down on a list. Not only will your list give you time to reflect on the descion rather than impluse buying  but it will also give you time to think if you have a place for the new item to live within your home/office, will you even use/wear it and it may even stop you buying all togther, both saving you space in your home and keeping money in your bank – double yay!

10) For those of you that have problems detaching emotions from items and blackmail yourself into keeping items – i.e. “I can’t throw away that peach knitted toilet roll doll cover” (remember them?) as my Great Aunty Betty gave it to me, seven Christmas’ ago”  I have this little system for you…

Ask yourself these 3 questions

1) Do I LOVE it?    2) Do I NEED it?  3) Is it ESSENTIAL?

The (honest) answers will lead you to the following

1) Yes you love it, can use it and it is in working order = you can keep it

2) No = Donate to charity or skip

3) No = Donate to charity or skip

We all get caught up in our possessions and ‘stuff’,  its built into our I want it now consumer society but if you were hand-on-heart-honest, how much to your really use?  A third of it? Less?

So in the season of the Spring Clean, make your job easier, free up the space, take the plunge, get tough and declare war on your junk drawers!

Hands up, who invented the Spring Clean?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

As the temperatures starts to creep up and the days get increasingly longer and lighter, its time to start to think about the big annual spring clean… but why? Where does the tradition of the spring clean come from and is it relevant in today’s living?

It is not known for certain where spring cleaning was first recorded but it is found across several religions and cultures throughout the world and below are some facts you may not know about this age old tradition

  • Cleaning is part of the Iranian Norouz, Persian New Year, which falls on the first day of spring and is called “Khooneh tekouni”, which literally means “shaking the house”
  • Pagans and Wiccans practise cleaning rituals at Spring in order to renew the protection on their home, when mother nature renews the earth
  • The Jewish faith cleans as part of the preparation for passover. Members of the faith remove all trace of  leaven (bread yeast) from their homes by cleaning the whole home from top to bottom
  • Greek and orthodox nations traditionally clean days before or or during the first week of lent, which corresponds with the Julian new year on April 1st
  • The tradition in Northern America and Northern Europe was to clean throughout March and April, as the weather was warm enough to open doors and windows to air the home, after a cold and wet winter, but cool enough still that the bugs are attracted indoors

The tradition of Spring Cleaning is something that has started to loose its importance in our modern fast cultures, as we  no longer have to wait for warm weather to beat rugs outside since the invention of the vacuum, or scrub the sideboards for hours on end with the invention of modern day chemicals but does that mean we should cease spring cleaning all together?

Psychologically the act of a spring clean is very beneficial – time for a big sort out and de-clutter, out with the old – in with the new, tidy house – tidy mind etc. the list of cliches go on…

People can often feel encumbered by all the possessions they own, possessions they have to keep them ahead of the Joneses or possesions they may keep to remind them of a time gone by – but ask yourself  (truthfully) do you really need those 1990’s ripped denim jeans hanging in the wardrobe that will never again been worn or your collection of old magazines you will never read again? And what about on your PC, is it necessary to have all those folders and files sitting there that are never looked in or used?

So no matter if you clean through your inbox, scrub all rooms in your home from top to bottom or just sort your wardrobe out to give to your local charity shop, do something positive for yourself as the new spring starts and release yourself from the shackles of winter with a tidy, fresh outlook