Category Archives: Home Cleaning Tips

Where can you find the best home cleaning tips? You’ll find them from professional cleaning business owners! Learn how to clean better, faster, and more efficiently for almost all your household cleaning tasks! Whether it be the best way to clean glass or tips on picking up pet hair, we’ve got something for you. Visit our Clean Like A Pro section, it has a ton of great content that you can’t find anywhere else!

Trouble Keeping Grout Clean? Try These 5 Things

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How To Keep Grout Clean

Cleaning Tile Grout

5 Simple Ways To Keep Grout Clean & Stain-Free!

Let's get started! Grab your toothbrush AND...Stop there! Do you really have the time or energy to be on your hands and knees scrubbing grout lines in your kitchens or bathrooms? The thing about cleaning grout is it's no easy task, so instead of waiting for it to get dirty again, take preventative measures to make sure you are keeping grout clean in your homes. We're not saying you'll never have to clean your tile's grout, but why not do it less? We've asked Debra Braman, owner residential cleaning business Maid By Design, for her help and thoughts on the topic. She believes there are 5 simple things you can be doing right now to prevent your grout from getting dirty and moldy. 

Maintaining Your Tile's Grout

It is always good to remember why your grout gets dirty in the first place. Most grout is made of sand and is porous, therefore things like dirt, debris, soap scum, and water get ground into the grout. All this can lead to the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew, which is why your grout looks stained. Even if you seal your grout, that can wear down over time. So unless you are checking each and every tile grout line in your home often, how would you know? Let's make things easy on yourself and take preventative measures to maintain your grout.

5 Preventative Measures To Keep Grout Clean

The key things to remember are to be aware of high traffic areas and places where water is used.

  1. Place walk-off mats at every entrance to your home. Not just for decorations, walk-off mats will lower the amount of dirt tracked into your home! 
  2. Place mats or rugs in kitchen and dining areas. Look around for areas where food and water collect, such as your sink, stove, under your pets food and water bowls. 
  3. Always follow best mopping practices. There are 2 main things to keep in mind when mopping. One is  to not over wet your floors. This is even more important when you use the type of mop that you dunk into water, which gets dirtier each time you dunk it. The second is to mop only small areas at a time until they are clean. This is why Microfiber Flat Mop Systems are a great choice.
  4. Keep Magic Erasers handy for removing the surface dirt before it gets out of hand. This is especially important for areas that are constantly wet, such as your sinks and showers.
  5. Vacuum or sweep more often! Especially in high traffic areas.

Already Have Mold? Here's Some Quick Fixes You Can Try

  1. Use grout brush in showers to remove all surface dirt and mold.
  2. Use a Clorox bleach pen in a fine line to help remove the mold.
  3. Use a hydrogen peroxide cleaner that fights mold.

Debra's Final Thoughts

If you don’t want to go through all this to keep your grout clean, you can install epoxy grout. Unlike sand grout, epoxy grout is not porous, and dirt cannot be ground into it. It is my humble opinion that doing a deep cleaning of your grout by a professional tile and grout specialist is the best way to go (in the case your grout is beyond just a simple cleaning). Depending on the traffic in your home it should be done at least yearly. After the professional cleaning of your grout, have it sealed to prevent particles from getting ground in. You need to maintain the seal at least every 6 months. Then follow the above steps to make sure it is maintained. Happy Cleaning! 

Debra Braman Owner Of Maid By Design

Debra Braman
Owner of Maid By Design
Tulsa, OK

KEY PRO TIPS

  • Be on the lookout for places you can put a mat or rug around your home to prevent water and dirt from collecting and spreading.
  • Always use proper mopping techniques.

TOOLS WE USE

Declutter Your Home Without Making A Mess

A Simple Trick To Declutter Your Home!

Decluttering Tips 2 Boxes

Before you can properly clean anything in your home, you have to clear out the clutter. So before you start to declutter your home, there are two general decluttering tips to keep in mind before you start.

  1. Be willing to throw things away. So much of our clutter are items that we really don’t need, like magazines, catalogs, boxes from Amazon, etc. Just toss it.
  2. Don’t get bogged down in organizing every item you come across. The goal is to get your home to the point where you can properly clean.

So to get started, each room or area of the house needs a box dedicated to items you’re going to keep that belong in the room. You can label it “KEEP”. This box will stay in that room. You will also have a box labeled “GOES ELSEWHERE” and a trash bag. You’ll  be taking the Goes Elsewhere box and trash bag with you from room to room. In each room you’ll be adding items to the both boxes and the trash bag. Upon entering a new room, you’ll take items out of the Goes Elsewhere Box and add them to that room’s Keep Box. When you’ve finished the last room you’ll need to walk back through each room to empty your Goes Elsewhere that you’ve collected in rooms decluttered subsequently.

Why declutter your home this way? Well if you are like most people, when cleaning up clutter you might just end up spreading it around. So this is just an quick and easy way to make sure you are organized and efficiently decluttering as you go.

Cleaning Bedroom Clutter

bedroom decluttering tips

If you are going to declutter your home the first place to start is the bedroom. Why? Bedrooms can become an extra storage place in your homes. Excess clutter in your bedrooms can collect a lot of household dust, which brings along its own set of health issues, making it seem even more impossible to clean everything. So get your Keep and Goes Elsewhere Boxes and lets get started with some bedroom decluttering tips.

Floors: The goal here is to clear up space so you can easily vacuum. You want to make sure you aren’t having to constantly move or maneuver around objects when vacuuming.

  1. Get Everything Out The Way – Get larger movable objects, like chairs, out of the room or at least to the sides. Move smaller objects on top of desks, dressers, etc.
  2. Put Items Into Appropriate Boxes! Start picking up items and putting them into your boxes accordingly.

Desks: The most important thing when decluttering your desk is to know what you need and organize it. If you have a paper shredder, manila folders, and some paper clips these will definitely help here.

  1. Go through your paper piles putting the trash in the shredder, and put papers you need in your manila folders, paper clipping them as needed.
  2. Separate your desk essentials from non-essentials.  Go through them and put them into the appropriate boxes or trash. For items that need to stay on your desk, but don’t want to move into a box, move them to the side and out of the way.

Closets & Dressers: When decluttering your clothes, the most important thing is to be able to find what you need when you need it. So here’s some organization and decluttering tips to make that happen.

  1. Go through your clothes and put any clothes you don’t want on your bed. You can donate these or pass them down.
  2. Pick a way to organize. Organize your clothes in a way that matches your lifestyle. Have a lot of workout clothes? Separate your workout tops from your regular ones. Check out this closet organization checklist for more info!
  3. What to do with your miscellaneous items? These are things you wear on rare occasions, think of ugly Christmas sweaters, group them together and find a place for them.

Decluttering Tip: Don’t fold big and bulky items, hang them instead.

Cleaning Kitchen Clutter

kitchen decluttering tips

Now move onto your kitchen. Take anything in your Goes Elsewhere box that belongs in the kitchen, put it in the kitchen Keep box. Because your kitchen gets messiest the fastest and has many fragile items, keep in mind that less is better. This will make your kitchen much easier to clean! So be prepared to throw things out and re-locate kitchen items that are used very seldom.

Counters: The goal here is to move everything out the way, so you can clean your kitchen in one full sweep.

  1. Move your kitchen appliances. Things such as blenders or toasters need to be moved inside cabinets, pushed to the side, on top of a chair, or even placed outside of your kitchen. When moving them, put them in the least dirty area of your kitchen. If you have fragile items, put them in a basket.
  2. Create space for dirty dishes. If you have any dishes in your dish rack or washer, dry them and put them away.
  3. Soak your dirty dishes. Fill your large dishes with soapy water, and let them soak, while you put your smaller dishes in the dishwasher.

Refrigerator & Pantry: Since your refrigerator and pantry get full and untidy really fast, what you want to focus on here is space efficiency. So when decluttering be honest with yourself with what you really need and what was just a “one-time use”.

  1. Finding extra space! Move things around & put them away correctly to create extra space. This will seem like a game of tetris at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll see the results.
  2. Throw away snacks you don’t need. We know this can be tough, so ask yourself the following 2 things: “do I even remember I had this”, and “will it stay fresh?” If you answered no to either of these and you don’t see yourself eating them in the next month or so, it’s time to toss it.
  3. Categorize & Prioritize! Group things together, and move them to the most visible and accessible places.

Cleaning Bathroom Clutter

bathroom decluttering tips

Now let’s move onto the bathroom! Get your Goes Elsewhere box and put anything that belongs here in the bathroom Keep box. When clearing out clutter in your bathroom, keep in mind that it is filled items that we very rarely use or bought and forgot about them. So whatever you plan on keeping, it is important to have a place to put these items after you are done cleaning.

Floors: Make sure you bring your laundry basket and throw dirty clothes, towels, and rugs into it. You might want to shake them off outside before you throw them in the basket, getting rid of excess hair, lint, and dirt that collects on them, this is especially important for rugs. You’ll be vacuuming the debris later.

Sink & Medicine Cabinet: Bathroom sink covered with makeup and toiletries? The key here is to be honest with yourself, since we buy so many products we only use once. If your bathroom is so full that you have no space, try some of these bathroom organizing ideas!

  1. Clear off your bathroom counters. Get a small basket and put all the items on your counter in it. You can also store away excess items in bathroom drawers. Make it easy on yourself and try to sorting as you go.
  2. Throw out what you don’t need. Ask yourself the following “do I even remember I had this” and “will I be using this in the next month or so?” If you answered no to both, you can most likely throw it out. Also remember to check expiration dates!
  3. Separate your essentials from non-essentials. Some items we only use on rare occasions, think of your nice perfumes or expensive hair products. Group these things together and find a place for them.

Cleaning Tip: Remember to check and clean the base of bottles on the kitchen sink! Things like soap bottles can leave a ring around them.

What About Family & Living Rooms? 

Don’t worry we didn’t forget these! Treat these just like you did the bedroom by getting everything out of the way. The main difference is that you might have more larger immovable furniture, so it becomes more important to plan a way to vacuum with the least amount of interruptions. Remember when you need to declutter your home, your goal is just to make sure that when you actually clean and dust, it will be as easy as possible.

Final Decluttering Tips

If you still have things left over in your Goes Elsewhere box, ask yourself this question, “What will this item be doing for me in a couple of months?” Chances are you probably won’t be needing it, but if you can’t find the heart to get rid of it, then make sure you have a space in your home to store it efficiently. After this you can throw away or donate what you have left!

Declutter Your Home This Year!

So since you’ve cleared out the clutter in your home, now you can get to actually cleaning it! We’ve got advice on how to clean almost any area of your home. Check out our professional cleaning tips in our Clean Like A Pro section. Need  cleaning supplies? We have some great towels for dusting and cleaning any surface in your household. Give your friends and family a clean home this 2019!

Live Healthy! 5 Benefits of Cleaning Your Home

Benefits Of Cleaning Living Room

Health Starts In The Home

Truly healthy people aren’t just doing “one thing” to be healthy. For example you could have great fitness, but have high stress levels, or have a good diet, but lack exercise. With that being said, did you know that multiple factors of your health could be affected by how clean your home is? Learn the benefits of cleaning your home below, and start living healthier today!

Less Stress

Everyone talks about having a balanced look to their home. Well nothing will take away from that more than clutter, which happens when things are out of place or just don’t have a place to go. According to an article by Psychology Today, clutter makes it difficult for us to relax, causes anxiety, overworks our senses, can make us feel overwhelmed, and frustrates us because we can’t easily locate what we need (Carter, S. 2012). Obviously you can see how clutter in your home can directly contribute to stress. Make sure you set aside time to declutter, so you can have peace of mind in your own home.

More Intelligence?

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, but your house is filled with allergens. Most us of associate allergies with sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes, but don’t really think of how that can affect everything we do. In fact according to Dr. Daniel More, “People with allergies have, overall, been found to have slower verbal reasoning, slower decision making, and reduced psychomotor speed,” (More, D 2018). So allergies can impact on how responsive we are. Maybe you don’t directly associate this with intelligence, but I think it is safe to say people who are sharper and more alert certainly appear as more intelligent.

Allergens can be found in your house in many forms, but one of the main culprits dust! It’s important that you don’t let dust accumulate by using microfiber to pick it up! Why? Since microfiber is positively charged it actually acts as a magnet to negatively charged dust. You can use microfiber dust cloths on your household surfaces or our best microfiber dusters to get harder to reach places, such as vents and ceiling fans.

A Good Night’s Sleep

Healthy High Quality Sleep

Ever have a hard time going to sleep in your own bed? Maybe you need to wash your sheets! Many of us are allergic to tiny creatures that live in our bed, called dust mites. These things can cause shortness of breath, blocked or runny nose, and a tight chest, all resulting in a lower quality sleep! How can you be the best version of yourself when you aren’t recharging your battery at night to the fullest?

Get Sick Less

When we get sick we almost always point to a friend who was coughing and sneezing or blame it on the cold weather. What we don’t realize that our own homes can actually be a bigger cause. Why is this? For one, we spend most of our time in our own homes. We also bring germs such as bacteria, fungus, and viruses in from the outside, where they then grow and multiply in our homes. Lastly, if we don’t clean regularly (especially in the kitchen), pests that carry harmful pathogens, can enter our homes. All of these can be responsible for a number of infections (from mild to severe) on your skin, eyes, lungs, and stomach, just to name a few. Yikes! See here for 20 items that you need to clean for a healthier home!

Did you know microfiber towels can actually pick up bacteria when cleaning? Check out some of our best microfiber towels for cleaning your home!

Physical Fitness & Diet!

Physical Fitness Running

This one may sound odd, but think about the benefits we’ve discussed above when you have a clean home: less stress, increased alertness, more refreshed, & lowering risks of getting sick. Studies have shown that messy and disorganized living environments can lead to unhealthy eating. When your body and mind feel right, you have the motivation and energy to take proper care of yourself. How easy is it to work out when you have the cold or flu, or when you’ve been sitting on your couch , or had a hard time sleeping? Plus, house cleaning itself can be a workout and get you moving and motivated.

Enjoy The Benefits Of Cleaning

Cleaning your home is not something you should “put-off”. Whether you want to clean daily, weekly, or monthly is up to you, but be sure to schedule time to do it and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. We have a wide variety of professional microfiber products so you can enjoy the benefits of a clean home! They’ll help you clean faster, easier, and more effectively. Want to know how you can clean your home like a pro? See our list of professional home cleaning tips.

Reference entry

More, Daniel (2018). How Allergies Affect Your Mood and Energy Level. retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/do-allergies-affect-your-mood-or-energy-level-82837

Carter Sherrie (2012). Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies retrieved: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/high-octane-women/201203/why-mess-causes-stress-8-reasons-8-remedies

Tips To Easily Clean Cluttered Homes

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Cleaning A Cluttered Home

Cluttered Unorganized Desk

How To Clean Cluttered Homes

It's the one cleaning step we all want to skip, but it's the one that ends up making a difference. I'm talking about the pre-cleaning or better known as "decluttering". If you are a professional cleaner or you have the cleaning responsibilities in your own home, you already know how unsightly it is to see dirty dishes in the sink, toys on the floor, & things out of place on your counters and tables.

Sure, the ideal home to clean is one that has nothing in the way. You would start right away, be uninterrupted, then call it a day! Unfortunately, this is not reality. So we asked residential cleaning business owner, Annie Farron, owner of Annie At Your Service to help us share some tips on how to clean cluttered homes! See some of her decluttering tips below and start cleaning like a pro today!

Making Cleaning Efficient In Homes Full Of Clutter

"The ideal home to clean is one that has been prepared for cleaning by the home owner. This preparation includes de-cluttering and putting things away to clear off counters and other home surfaces such as tables and dressers. Floors are also free of toys, clothes and clutter. The more uncovered surface area in your home, the more thorough your clean will be. You’re paying your cleaning company to clean, and it will cost more if they have to prepare the surfaces for cleaning before they can do the cleaning.

There are some people who just can’t or won’t declutter their home in preparation for cleaning. I have a couple of those clients and I have built in the extra time it takes to do the prep work for them. Of course, I don’t know where everything goes, so I do the best I can with the knowledge I have" - Ann Farron, Owner of Annie At Your Service LLC.

Decluttering In The Kitchen

In the kitchen, picture a sink full of dirty dishes, cereal bowls with milk and cereal dredges on the table, dirty pots and pans on the stove, boxes of snacks and drinks on the floor. It looks like you will be there forever just cleaning the kitchen, but if you take it one step at a time it takes less time than you think.

What To Do With Dirty Dishes?

  1. Gather any dishes and leftover food from the table. Make sure there aren't any lingering dishes in other rooms!
  2. Clear the sink because you will need it to clean the rest of the kitchen.
  3. Make Space! Put away clean dishes. Check in the dishwasher and on the dish drying rack. You may need to open every door and drawer to accomplish this but it can be done. Do your best to put them away in the correct spots, your customer will appreciate this.
  4. Separate your dirty dishes
    - put the smaller dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Add the dishwasher detergent and start the clean cycle.
    - Hand-wash any large pans and dishes, that do not fit in the dishwasher.

Cleaning Tip: Collect the large pans and dishes first, since they are usually the most dirty, and let them soak while you fill the dishwasher with the smaller easier to clean dishes.

Snacks & Drinks On Kitchen Floors

What to do with snacks & drinks that are on the floor? Try to find a place for them. If there’s room in the refrigerator, put the drinks away. Is there a place on top of the refrigerator to hold the snacks? If not, get the items off the floor by putting them on a chair or another surface you’ve already cleaned. Be careful with glass items! Now you can clean the kitchen.

Cleaning Tip: Before you move anything, take a mental note of where things were, especially larger items that you may need to move: blenders, toasters, etc. Cleaning and putting things in the correct order can really mean a lot to your customers.

Decluttering The In The Bathroom

Dirty Clothes

Don't be surprised when you find piles of dirty clothes & towels on every surface of the bathroom. Some of the clothes may be clean, but how are you to know. You can’t worry about it you’re supposed to be cleaning right? How can you clean if you can’t see any surfaces?

  1. Grab some laundry baskets and start piling the clothes into the baskets. Not enough baskets? Use trash bags.
  2. Move the baskets and bags out of the way. Now you can start cleaning.

Sinks

Bathroom sink covered with makeup and toiletries? Again, open drawers and medicine cabinets and put things away. It may not be in the right place, but your job is to clean, the goal is to declutter the surface so you can do that. Ideally, if you find a small basket this will work great! When the customer returns home they won't be frustrated opening drawers and cabinets looking for their beauty products and other items, it will all be right there for them. You can put the small items in the basket and only have the basket to move when cleaning the sink.

Cleaning Tip: Remember to check and clean the base of bottles on the kitchen sink! Things like soap bottles can leave a ring around them. Also don't forget to clean faucet aerators!

Decluttering The In The Bedroom

Floors

Use the same techniques as above for clothes. If you find toys all over the floor in a child’s bedroom, the same goal applies. Find something to put them in and get them off the floor. Just be careful that it's not anything fragile or breakable, these items you may want to handle separately.

Desks

Need to dust and clean around clutter on desks and dressers?

  1. Move items that are in the way (staplers, picture frames, etc.) keep them as close as you can to where they were originally, or take a mental note of where they were. The last thing you need is for customer's to be upset about not being able to find something valuable to them.
  2. If there are any fragile items, you might need to move them to another area completely.
  3. Is there a messy stack of papers, you can straighten out? (don't move papers to new areas! There may be important documents the customer needs)

Why We Do It This Way

Your declutter job may not be ideal for the long term, but you’re not there to organize the home, you’re there to clean it. Just do the best you can do to clear the surfaces you need to clean so you can clean them. It can be overwhelming at first but if you take it one thing at a time you will get through it quickly and efficiently.

Annie At Your Service Affordable And Reliable House Cleaning Services In Fairport NY

Annie Farron
Owner of Annie At Your Service
Fairport, NY

Annie's Decluttering Tips

  • Use trash bags to pile away unorganized dirty clothes. Trash bags work great because of how space efficient they are to bring along.
  • The top of the refrigerator is an excellent place to store lingering snacks and drinks. Just be careful when there is glass bottles present!

Tools To Use

Remove Pet Hair Furniture Homes

How Cleaning Pros Remove Pet Hair From Your Homes

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Pet Hair Free Homes!

Cats And Dogs

Best Way To Remove Pet Hair

Can you think of one place in your home you don't find pet hair? It's on your clothes, in your bathroom, your cars, counters, etc. We all love our cats & dogs, but it's amazing how pet hair somehow gets everywhere, even in places your pet doesn't even hang around! This is not only an issue for pet owners, but cleaning professionals too. So we thought it would be a great idea to ask pet care & cleaning expert, Annie Farron, owner of Annie At Your Service in Fairport, NY what she does to ensure her clients homes look pet hair free! Start cleaning like a pro today, see how Annie does it below!

How We Remove Pet Hair At Annie At Your Service

Cleaning a home with inside pets can be a challenge, especially if you have a pet that sheds. Even those that don’t shed have hair that falls off all over your floors and furniture. A good vacuum with the proper attachments is a must.

Clean Top Down: Get Pet Hair Off Furniture & Counters

It’s important to clean top down, meaning starting with the higher up areas, and making your way down to the floor. We vacuum furniture and dust the surfaces above the floor prior to vacuuming the floor, to ensure the most efficient and effective method of collecting pet hair. The Shark Vacuum is a great choice because it is lightweight and comes with a wide pet upholstery tool!

  1. Dust-off highest areas first. Using an extended reach duster, like a chenille microfiber high duster, remove hair , dust, & dander from areas such as ceiling fans, lights, blinds, window sills,  and baseboards.
  2. Dust-off hard furniture surfaces such as tables and chairs
  3. Don't forget about wet pet drool! Do a damp dust on areas with wet pet drool and other debris that didn’t come off with the duster. Don’t forget your windows and window sills. Buff™ Pro Microfiber towels make for great damp dusting tools, just wet them with water!
  4. Vacuum Couches & Chairs using the Shark Vacuum pet tool that came with your vacuum, paying special attention to the areas your pet likes to sit.
  5. Use the Pet Upholstery tool to clean your pet's beds.

Vacuuming Pet Hair From Your Floor

Carpets

  1. Vacuum carpets thoroughly by moving everything that’s possible to move and getting underneath all the furniture you can get under. Remember hair accumulates around and under things.
  2. Vacuum in several different directions to remove all the hair.
  3. Use Vacuum Crevice Tool For Areas Your Vacuum Couldn't Reach: Follow up your vacuuming by using a crevice tool to get the areas along the baseboards and in the corners where your vacuum didn’t quite reach.

Hard Floor Surfaces: Hardwood, Tile, Lamnite

  1. Safely remove pet hair from your hard floor: Using a hard floor tool vacuum attachment to remove pet hair, ensures you aren't scratching or damaging your floors. We recommend the Hoover Royal Gulper Floor Tool. If you choose to use this one with your Shark Vacuum, you will need an adapter for this to fit your Shark vacuum, but it’s worth it. This will get under most of your furniture and beds.
  2. Pay special attention to underneath couches and other furniture.
  3. Final Step: Mopping Your Floors! Get rid off all the remaining pet hair. A great mop to use for collecting pet hair is the Professional Microfiber Mop System, it comes with a mojave dust mop pad that was made for trapping & holding onto dust & pet hair. If you need a smaller size mop use the Microfiber Mop System

Why We Remove Pet Hair This Way?

Pet hair sticks to many surfaces. By dusting top down with an extendable duster, the hair that doesn’t stick to the duster falls to the floor where it can be vacuumed. Vacuuming the furniture and pet beds prior to vacuuming the floor prevents more hair, dust, and dander from falling to your floor and covering surface areas every time you or your pet, sit on it.

Annie At Your Service Affordable And Reliable House Cleaning Services In Fairport NY

Annie Farron
Owner of, Annie At Your Service
Fairport, NY

KEY PRO TIPS

  • Pet hair has the tendency to accumulate around & under things.
  • Pay special attention to the areas your pet likes to sit.

TOOLS TO USE

  1. Extendable Reach Dusters: Chenille Microfiber High Duster or Microfiber Flexible Fluffy Duster
  2. Vacuum For Carpet & Hard Floor: Shark Vacuum
  3. Vacuum Hard Floor Attachment: Hoover Royal Gulper Floor Tool
  4. Small Mop For Pet Hair (Small Size):
    Microfiber Mop System
  5. Large Mop For Pet Hair: Professional Microfiber Mop System
Top things forgotten when cleaning customer's homes

8 Noticeable Things You Forget To Clean For Your Customers

CLEAN LIKE A PRO

Most Notable Things You Forget To Clean

things you forget to clean

Things Customers Notice You Forget To Clean

Attention Cleaning Professionals: You're only one missed spot away from losing a customer. Let that sink in... We know you won't be skipping over the obvious: toilets, showers, stovetops, etc. But with so many spaces & places to clean, what are the spots that have your customer's saying "I wish they would have cleaned that", or "they missed a spot".

It's the little things that matter and that's why we've asked cleaning professional Joanna Martin, owner of Winston Salem Cleaning Service, to share the most common areas that are forgotten about when cleaning, and how she properly prioritizes and customizes her list of cleaning tasks to cater specifically to her customer's needs. Her main piece of advice: "The best way to spot any of these commonly forgotten details is to pretend you live in the house."

Add these to your home or residential cleaning checklist! Learn from a pro like Joanna, and start cleaning like a pro today!

8 Frequently Missed Spots In Customers' Homes & How To Clean Them

Have you ever worked hard on a cleaning project, only to miss one little detail?  Even more frustrating is that once the customer spots that single missed detail, they might conclude that the whole job was poorly done.  Depending on where your customer lives and what are their specific living situations (do they have pets or kids?), the cleaning issues will vary. But even with that being said, here are some of the most frequently missed spots we've noticed & how to take care of them.

  1. Bathroom Soap & Shampoo Bottle Rings: Lift the bottles, and wipe the base of the bottle . Then wipe the shelf (surface) and replace the bottles to their original spots.
  2. Bathroom Vent Fan Build Up: Use a cob-webber brush to dislodge the dust build-up on a vent fan. Do this step before you clean the shower!
  3. Shower Head Mold: This is a tricky one, because you have to be in the shower to see it! Stand under the shower head & look up… usually a brush is enough to clean the shower head, but if you use any bleach, be sure to turn the shower on (preferably after you have stepped out!) to rinse it… No one wants to have a ‘bleach shower’
  4. Shower Door Slime: The lower gasket or lip of the shower door will build up a thriving colony of dark & scary microorganisms! Use a disposable wipe or paper towel to gently wipe the gasket clean. If you remember to do this every time, it will stay clean & manageable.
  5. Refrigerator & Freezer Door Gaskets: Unless cleaning the inside of the appliances is on your regular schedule, the door gaskets are normally not seen. However they are an ideal spot for crumbs to collect. Simply wipe clean with a mild soapy solution and a microfiber cloth.
  6. Kitchen Cabinet "Toe-Kick Tumbleweeds": Spiders love to build webs under the cabinet toe-kick, and pet fur seems to congregate there as well - an extension duster, turned to face the bottom of the cabinet will often be enough to sweep them away.
  7. Living Room "Hidden Dust":  When finished cleaning a living area, sit down on the couch & take a few seconds to look around.  From this level, you will likely spot dust on the lamps where the knob is, smudges on the glass coffee table that are not visible from above, crumbs under couches, a cobweb hanging from the ceiling fan, and so on.  This is what the homeowner may see when they sit down to relax at the end of the day.  Take these few seconds to bring your quality of service to a new level!
  8. Bedroom Baseboards:  Bedrooms can be very dusty and baseboards are the top accumulation points. Use an extension duster (The flexible chenille microfiber high duster is ideal) to get hard to reach areas behind the nightstands, backs of TV screens, and behind the doors.

Making Sure Cleaning Is "A Job Well Done"

Do A Final Walk-Through

The Walk-Through is a final check, done either by the technician who cleaned the room, or better yet, their partner.  What are you looking for?  Details… depending on your climate, customer preference, and experience, these details may vary.  For example, here in the south, we have high humidity.  This means we have to be very diligent about streaks on glass doors or mirrors.  When the weather finally, (finally!) cools, spider webs are a top priority.  In homes with pets, fur tumbleweeds will hide under furniture and behind doors.  Children leave their mark on door frames and refrigerator doors.  We customize a walk-through list for each home we clean, but after a while, you will learn  some of the most frequently missed spots.  The best way to spot any of these commonly forgotten details is to pretend you live in the house.. In other words, put yourself in a position to see what the homeowner sees….

Have An Exit Strategy

Sometimes it is not practical to walk over the freshly vacuumed carpet or mopped hardwood floor, so you’ll need to do the walk through as you go.  Before you vacuum or mop, carefully look at your work, paying attention to the areas mentioned.  ALWAYS carry a clean microfiber cloth (we love the Buff Pro multi surface cleaning cloth) with you to quickly clean anything you find in the walk through.  Turn off lights, replace area rugs, tidy pillows, throw rugs, remotes, magazines.  Finally, check the actual entry doors… Fingerprints? Smudges on glass? Crumbs under rug?  Make it your goal to impress your customers every time they come home!

Joanna Martin- Winton Salem Cleaning Service

Joanna Martin
Owner of Winston Salem Cleaning Service
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

KEY PRO TIPS

  • The best way to spot any commonly forgotten detail is to pretend you live in the house
  • Take all the details into account. Things like climate, customer preference, and experience can help you prioritize what's most important to your customer.

TOOLS WE USE

How To Clean Window Sills Like A Pro

CLEAN LIKE A PRO

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Window Sills

Window Sills And Tracks

How To Clean Window Sills

How great do clear and streak-free windows look? Not at all, if you are forgetting to clean the window sills and tracks. If you aren't cleaning the window sills, what you are really saying is "I'm ok with getting half the job done". We understand that cleaning them is no easy task. That's why knowing the proper way on how to clean window sills can save you time and energy. After all, why put in all the work for streak-free windows, just to have them still look bad?

So we wanted to find the best way for you to get the job done! We asked Ann Farron, owner of the house cleaning company, Annie At Your Service, on how to clean window sills and tracks . Add these following steps to your cleaning routine and make window sill cleaning EASY!

Cleaning Window Sills At Annie At Your Service

"Even if the rest of your house is sparkling clean, dirty window sills will make your house look dingy and shabby. It’s easy to clean window sills and it should be a part of your whole house weekly cleaning routine." - Ann Farron

Dusting Above Your Window Sills

You should clean the window sills after you have dusted the drapes and blinds since any dust disturbed above the sills will settle on the sills.

Dusting Your Window Sills

  • Dust the window sill to remove larger easily removable debris first, such as dust, hair, and dead bug carcasses. You can use a dry microfiber cloth for this. 

Deep Cleaning Your Window Sills

After you have dusted and removed the looser debris, you'll need to remove harder and more stuck on dirt and grime that has built up over time. 

  1. Use a simple solution of ¼ cup Pinesol or other all-purpose cleaner, mixed in a bucket with a gallon of water.
  2. Now simply wipe the sill with a damp microfiber cloth. Make sure the cloth is damp and not soaking wet, so you won't have excess dirty water runoff.
  3. For harder to remove dirt and grime, use a small brush, such as an old toothbrush, to clean and lift dirt off corners and edges.
  4. Use a wet magic eraser to remove stuck on grime that doesn’t wipe off easily with your wet cloth.

For Window Sills With Mold

  1. Create a mold killing solution of the below ingredients. You can mix this in a bucket or use a spray bottle. 
    - 1/2 Cup Borax
    - 1/2 Cup Plain White Vinegar
    - 2 Cups Warm Water 
  2. Apply it over the affected area with a microfiber cloth or saturate by spraying from the spray bottle.
  3. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Scrub the window sills with your magic eraser using the brush to get the mold out of the crevices and corners.
  5. Repeat the process if necessary.

After application, the mold spores have been killed and the Borax will retard any spores growth on the surface.

Keep your window sills looking clean by adding these steps to your regular maintenance cleaning. Every time you clean your home, you should dust the sills and tracks with a Microfiber Cloth or Swiffer Duster. Use a wet microfiber cloth for any debris that does not come off with the Swiffer. Knowing how to clean window sills takes only a few minutes and keeps them looking like new.

Why We Do It This Way

Nobody wants to spend more time cleaning than they have to. Top down cleaning is more efficient because the dust falls down when it’s disturbed. If you clean a table and then dust the light above it, the table will need to be cleaned again because the dust from the light above will fall on it. Once your baseboards and window sills are clean, it’s much easier and faster to keep them that way by adding them to your regular cleaning routine.

Annie At Your Service Affordable And Reliable House Cleaning Services In Fairport NY

KEY PRO TIPS

Dust your drapes and blinds before your window sills, so excess dust won't fall on your freshly cleaned window sills.

TOOLS WE USE

How To Clean Baseboards Like A Pro

CLEAN LIKE A PRO

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Baseboards

How To Clean Baseboards

You would NEVER forget to clean your floors and walls.  So if having clean floors and walls is so important, shouldn't baseboards be the same? I mean they are connected to them both and are in every room of your house! So knowing how to clean baseboards properly is important for anyone who wants the freshly cleaned home look.

So whether you hate cleaning baseboards or are forgetting to clean them, we found out an easy way to do it. We asked Ann Farron, owner of the house cleaning company, Annie At Your Service, on how she easily and effectively cleans her customer's baseboards. Add these following steps to your cleaning routine and see the difference it makes!

Cleaning Baseboards At Annie At Your Service

"Even if the rest of your house is sparkling clean, dirty baseboards will make your house look dingy and shabby. It’s easy to clean baseboards and it should be a part of your whole house weekly cleaning routine." - Ann Farron

What To Do Before Cleaning Your Baseboards

Baseboards should be cleaned after you have dusted areas above them, such as a ceiling fan, because any dust and hair disturbed above them will eventually land on them. If your floor is dirty and hairy, you should vacuum before washing your baseboards since all that hair and debris will stick to your cleaning cloth and end up back on your baseboards when you’re washing them.

Dust Off Your Baseboards

Use a dry microfiber cloth to remove larger visible debris, such as dust, hair, and dead bug carcasses from your baseboards.

Deep Cleaning Your Baseboards

After you have dusted and removed the looser debris, you'll need to remove harder and more stuck on dirt and grime that has built up over time. 

  1. Use a simple solution of ¼ cup Pinesol or other all-purpose cleaner, mixed in a bucket with a gallon of water.
  2. Now simply wipe the baseboard with a damp microfiber cloth.
  3. For extra grimier baseboards, such as those in your kitchen or living rooms, you may need some extra scrubbing power. Use a small brush, such as an old toothbrush, along the edges and in the corners with your cleaning solution.
  4. Use a wet magic eraser to remove stuck on grime that doesn’t wipe off easily with your wet cloth.

If Your Baseboards Have Mold 

This issue would be most common in the bathroom, near the tub or shower. 

  1. Create a mold killing solution of the below ingredients. You can mix this in a bucket or use a spray bottle. 
    - 1/2 Cup Borax
    - 1/2 Cup Plain White Vinegar
    - 2 Cups Warm Water 
  2. Apply it over the affected area with a microfiber cloth or saturate by spraying from the spray bottle.
  3. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Scrub the baseboard with your magic eraser using the brush to get the mold out of the crevices and corners.
  5. Repeat the process if necessary.

After application, the mold spores have been killed and the Borax will retard any spores growth on the surface.

Now that they’re clean, you can keep them looking that way by adding a few simple steps to your regular maintenance cleaning. Every time you clean your home, you should dust the baseboards with a Microfiber Cloth or Swiffer Duster. Use a wet microfiber cloth for any debris that does not come off with the Swiffer. Knowing how to clean baseboards takes only a few minutes and keeps them looking like new.

Why We Do It This Way

Nobody wants to spend more time cleaning than they have to. Top down cleaning is more efficient because the dust falls down when it’s disturbed. If you clean a table and then dust the light above it, the table will need to be cleaned again because the dust from the light above will fall on it. Once your baseboards are clean, it’s much easier and faster to keep them that way by adding them to your regular cleaning routine.

Annie At Your Service Affordable And Reliable House Cleaning Services In Fairport NY

KEY PRO TIPS

  • Remember to clean high to low, to ensure you don't have to clean the same area twice.

TOOLS WE USE

Complete Your House Cleaning Checklist

15 Things Your House Cleaning Checklist Is Missing

CLEAN LIKE A PRO

The Completed House Cleaning Checklist

Complete professional house cleaning checklist

15 Things You're Missing From Your House Cleaning Checklist

What are the 4 words you hate to hear? "You Missed A Spot." We aren't talking about your toilets, microwaves, and stove top ovens. We are talking about those places that are easy to miss, but are extremely noticeable to homeowners their guests. The words "You Missed A Spot" can be damaging to a cleaning business' reputation, and just downright annoying to hear, if you clean your own home. So let's make a COMPLETE housekeeping checklist, to make sure you never have to hear those words again! We've asked Cheryl Clayton, owner of Green & Clean about what are the top things forgotten about when cleaning a home. Add these easy cleaning tasks for a professional house cleaning checklist today!

Completing Your House Cleaning Checklist

At Green & Clean we find there are two circumstances which most often cause to Green & Clean to hear the feedback of "you missed a spot." One is when a new employee is in the field alone for the first time since completing training, and the items were missed inexperience or nervousness.  The other situation is when the task was not in the scope of work purchased by the customer, but the customer was under the impression it was to be cleaned.

We've broken down the most commonly forgotten spots to clean by area & a quick cleaning tip on what you can do to clean them. Here are the TOP 15

Most Commonly Missed Spots In The Kitchen

  1. On top of the refrigerator- One of the most frequently forgotten spots. Use a microfiber telescoping duster to effectively reach and remove dust. 
  2. Inside the dishwasher- Clean inside the door all the way down to the tracks. Occasionally use AllFresh or baking soda bomb while running the dishwasher.
  3. Dish-rack- Wipe with an all-purpose microfiber cleaning towel.  If the drain mat has mildew try soaking in vinegar or a 10% bleach solution (but not both at once!).
  4. Garbage disposal- Try grinding a little ice and lemon rinds occasionally to prevent build up of stuck on food.
  5. Toaster Tray- If you enjoy toast for breakfast option, all those crumbs accumulate quickly.

Most Commonly Missed Spots In The Bathroom

  1. Toothbrush holders- If there’s one spot that can be a breeding ground for germs, it’s the toothbrush holder. Wipe with all-purpose microfiber towel or soak if needed.
  2. Behind the Toilet- Your toilet may look spick and span from a front-view, but dust and grime can hide inside the cavity around the back of our toilets.
  3. Shower curtain- Clean in the washing machine with two bath towels on the gentle setting and add 1/2 vinegar during the rinse cycle.
  4. Faucet aerators- Try wiping where the water comes out. If you see dark mold, you’re already past the time to remove the aerator and clean each part.
  5. Bathroom exhaust fan- This may be out of reach so try an extendable duster.

Most Commonly Missed Spots In The Bedroom & Living Rooms

  1. Lamp Shades- They may look clean, but it’s important to dust lampshades frequently with a mini microfiber duster, especially for fabric shades because dust will adheres to the fabric.
  2. Stair banisters-  This is a common touch point for dirty hands.  Wipe down frequently
  3. Chair rungs-  Most dining chairs have rungs, and this is a favorite place for dust to accumulate.
  4. Houseplants- Use water and a soft cloth or just spray with leaf shine. 
  5. Behind TV stands-  Electronic equipment is a magnet for dust.

How We Prevent Hearing “You Missed A Spot.”

Our cleaners receive through one-one training as well as classroom instruction.  When our cleaners are in the field, they have access to notes specific to the customer’s home plus a checklist of our basic maintenance routine to perform a quality check. 

To prevent misunderstanding between Green & Clean and the customer about the scope of work, we make sure the customer has a welcome email with the exact list of tasks to be performed and request that they contact us before the cleaning if the list doesn’t meet expectations and requirements.

We guarantee our work and are happy to return to clean any missed item, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (Ben Franklin). Training and excellent customer communication is the only way to prevent forgotten items.

Cheryl Clayton Owner Of Green & Clean

Cheryl Clayton
Owner of Green & Clean Maid Service Atlanta
Atlanta, GA

KEY PRO TIPS

  • Communication is vital, so customers understand what is going to get cleaned.
  • Out of reach areas are commonly forgot about when cleaning, an extendable microfiber duster is a great way to remember to clean these areas.

TOOLS WE USE

Prevent Cross Contamination When Cleaning

How To Prevent Cross Contamination

CLEAN LIKE A PRO

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Preventing Cross Contamination While Cleaning

Prevent Spread Of Bacteria

How To Prevent Cross Contamination

What are you doing to prevent the spread of harmful pathogens when cleaning? If not done correctly, it is like trying to put out a grease fire with water, your not helping your cause! Properly preventing cross contamination is on the top of the list for concerns of cleaning business owners. So what are they doing to ensure their clients homes not only look clean, but are healthy too? Who better to ask than Cheryl Clayton, owner of Green & Clean, a company built on cleaning homes for your health not just appearance! Find out what steps Cheryl has implemented in her business to address how to prevent cross contamination, she will teach you:

  1. How to minimize the spread of pathogens from start to finish.
  2. Why microfiber is so important in preventing the spread of pathogens, germs, and bacteria.
  3. Proper mopping practices that you need to be implementing.

How We Prevent Cross Contamination At Green & Clean

Cross-contamination is when germs and bacteria are unintentionally transferred from one surface or object to another, creating the possibility that a person or pet will become sick. At Green & Clean, we clean for health, and we take precautions to prevent the spread of germs.

How We Do It

Preventing cross-contamination in your client's homes or workplace is not something that can be done as one separate activity. Instead, procedures must be integrated into nearly every task and supply choice you make. 

Bring As Few Pathogens Into The Home As Possible

  • Hygiene and grooming matters: Our cleaners arrive in clean clothes, long hair is held back, and nails are short and clean. A cleaner who has had a fever in the past 24 hours, a time when viruses spread easily, are not assigned to clean in homes.
  • Make sure you have correctly cleaned laundry. This means that we bring the cleanest possible microfiber into the home. Doing this limits cross-contamination from poor laundry practices and maximizes the microfiber’s ability to hold pathogens. We have our cloths professionally laundered at Blusion Wash + Dry in Atlanta.  
  • We wipe the cleaning kit down before arrival so that pathogens from the previous home are not transferred to the current assignment.

Always Keep Hands Clean

According to the CDC, proper hand-washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of germs. Thus, proper and regular hand-washing is essential in all stages of house cleaning. We also provide disposable gloves, since gloves can become contaminated during cleaning, resulting in bacteria being transferred to another room. For example, gloves are changed and disposed of after cleaning a toilet.

Leverage The Cleaning Power of Microfiber

Microfiber is key to sanitary cleaning. Microfiber is the backbone of our cross-contamination procedures. A study done at the UC Davis Medical Center showed that Microfiber products attracts and holds up to 99% of bacteria and other pathogens, but they need to be high-quality microfiber towels and microfiber floor mops. Cleaning with cotton involves moving the pathogens off the surface by pushing and wiping, and that process results in only 33% of the bacteria being removed therefore increasing the chance of cross-contamination. Here are just a few ways you can use microfiber to avoid cross contamination:

  • Use color-coded microfiber. We use a two-color coding system for our microfiber. The two-color system helps keep cloths used in heavily soiled areas separate from light cleaning tasks such as dusting. Our color coding system minimizes the possibility of mistakenly using a contaminated cloth. If you would like to use more color coding that is fine.  For us, the simpler system works best.
  • Fold your cloths into fourth's to reduce cross-contamination. We use the microfiber cloth folded in fourths to make eight cleaning surfaces per cloth. When you always have a fresh cleaning side, this will limit spreading bacteria.
  • Use a new cloth after cleaning high risk sources of possible cross contamination. This includes sinks, toilets, or heavily soiled areas.
  • Use the right amount of product on the cloth. Wet or very damp cloths impair the microfiber’s ability to latch onto germs, so we change our cloths frequently.

Know Your Cleaning Protocol & Follow It Exactly

Having a procedure in place is always a best practice to help avoid cross contamination and the spreading of pathogens. It helps keep your cleaning organized, ensuring you aren't going over the same spots multiple times. Always clean top to bottom, back to front, left to right, and floors last. This procedure helps eliminate dirt, germs, and pathogens from being spread to previously cleaned areas.  Make sure you are keeping brushes for kitchen and bath separate to minimize spreading mold, mildew, e-Coli, and other pathogens.

Don't forget to pay attention to touch-points. In kitchens and baths, particular attention is given to touch-points, such as handles and knobs. These tend to have a higher density of contaminants  and will be likely touched again soon, which could spread contamination in a freshly cleaned home.

Finish Up With The Best Floor Cleaning Methods

  • Use multiple microfiber mop pads. Your mopping procedures can make or break your cross-contamination protocol for floors. We prevent cross-contamination by switching microfiber mop pads as they become soiled. We never use a mop pad from the bathroom or kitchen in other areas of the home.
  • Abandon the water bucket. We squeeze floor cleaner directly on the mop pad or spray it on the floor to eliminate the use of a bucket dirty of water. Water buckets for rinsing mop heads hold dirty water, which can easily drip onto surfaces, get on the cleaner's hands or gloves, or directly transfer pathogens back to the mop head. Lesson here: don't push more dirty water on your floors! 
  • Use HEPA filter vacuums. Our vacuum, the Shark Lift-Away, has a completely sealed system with HEPA filter. This filter captures 99.97% of particles, due to multiple levels of filtration. This is essential in keeping dust from resettling and re-contaminating floors or furniture.

Make Sure Cleaners Know And Use The Protocols

Train, train, train. The most critical process in preventing cross-contamination is staff training and retraining. Preventing cross-contamination involves a systemic approach and a system only works if you work it.

Why we do it this way

We take a systematic, multi-faceted approach to prevent cross-contamination because each facet of the system acts a fail-safe for the other procedures.  By taking care to understand all the ways we can avoid cross-contamination and training cleaners on the techniques, we can perform at a high level of proficiency. We are committed to leaving our customer’s homes clean and healthy.

Cheryl Clayton Owner Of Green & Clean

Cheryl Clayton
Owner of Green & Clean
Atlanta, GA

KEY PRO TIPS

  • Use color-coded microfiber system to minimize the possibility of mistakingly using a contaminated cloth. Keep cloths used in heavily soiled areas sepearate from ones for light cleaning tasks.
  • Know your touch points! Pay special attention to areas such, as handles and knobs that are likely to be touched again, which could result in the spreading of pathogens.

TOOLS WE USE