Category Archives: Cleaning Industry News

Domestic Cleaning Industry news

The truth about toilet paper

Around the world, we dump the equivalent of almost 300000 trees every day. 10% of that waste istoilet papertoilet paper.

There is a regular increase on paper demand from both developed and developing countries. But, at the same time, there are being strong efforts from organizations and governments to save old growth forests.

This means that paper industry is moving into tree plantations to keep up with the supply. While this looks, at a glance, like a good solution, in fact is actually displacing regional species, as the use of fertilisers is very high. Toilet paper is responsible of this turn into tree plantations as its demand is higher every day.

Some companies now are turning into recycled toilet paper, using less row material and water on its production.

Maybe next time we go to the supermarket we can think about changing to recycled toilet paper instead!

Wooden Toilet Seats

toilet seatAn investigation at John’s Hopkins Children’s Centre has found an increase on skin irritations caused by toilet seats.

The comeback on wooden toilet seats, mixed with the regular use of strong cleaning products, has caused an increase on the number of children developing skin irritation which can lead to serious infections if not treated properly.

To prevent toilet dermatitis, doctors at the Centre recommend the use of paper as seat cover, the replacement of wooden toilet seats with plastic ones and avoiding the use of strong chemicals, specially those containing phenol or formaldehyde.

“The Smell of Virtue” study

I recently had the opportunity to read an article about a research done by the Kellogg School of Management at North-western University. It basically claims that the scent of a room actually influences our behaviour. Therefore, clean odours will improve our behaviour making us more fair and ethical.

The study was divided in two different experiments. The first one evaluated people’s fairness. Subjects were given $12 and they needed to decided how much money to keep for themselves and how much to give to their partners. People in clean rooms gave an average of $5,33 to their partners and subjects on the normal rooms gave an average of $2,81. A big difference, isn’t it?

The second experiment evaluated the charitable disposition of people. It determined that subjects on clean-smelling rooms were more likely to be interested in volunteering and donations than subjects on normal rooms. (22% compared to 6%).

Amazing! Clean places make us nicer people! What are you waiting for? Take that broom and start cleaning your worries up!

International day for the preservation of the ozone layer

I would say that today is an important day for the cleaning industry. The 16th of September is the “International day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer”.

It was proved some decades ago that human-made chemicals are highly responsible for the damage on the ozone layer. We all know that products which contains CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) destroy ozone through a complex catalytic cycle.

There are a lot of household chemicals that could be damaging the ozone layer. Many common cleaning products, such as air fresheners or aerosols, may contain ingredients that are not good for the environment. We have to remember that although most of the cleaning products are free of CFCs now (thanks to The Montreal Protocol 87), they may contain other chemicals responsible for ozone damage.

What can we do in our homes to prevent ozone depletion?

-Buy cleaning products that use a pump-action instead of aerosols.

-Use cleaning products that are labelled “ozone-friendly”.

-Make sure any repair on your refrigerator/air conditioner is handle properly and the recycle of old CFCs is done.

If you are really into saving the planet… then go green and pass the word! There is nothing better to prevent damage than to let other people know!

Cleaning to prevent swine flu

Since the swine flu pandemic started some months ago, there has been an increase on the sales of soap and hand sanitizing products. Knowing that swine flu can spread quite easily, health organisations are stressing the importance of good hygiene habits.

We know that regular hand washing can prevent the spread of germs. But we cannot forget about cleaning; one of the key measures to prevent the spread of swine flu is the regular cleaning of hard surfaces such as tables or telephones.

We all have seen the official adverts asking us to through away the used tissues as soon as possible. But the virus only lives on them for about 30 minutes. However, the virus can live up to 2 days on hard surfaces (e.g. tables, cups or door handles). From this we can understand the importance of a thorough cleaning regime. keeping your house clean will help you boost your immune system, thus fighting swine flu on a much better way; this includes keeping dust and mold at bay.

What simple steps can you follow to fight swine flu at home?

1- Wash your hands. Wash them as soon as you enter your home, specially if you have been on a public place such as the office, gym or supermarket.

2- Clean frequently. Make sure your domestic cleaner incorporates the cleaning of door knobs, appliance handles, etc as part of her/his cleaning routine.

3- Eat healthy and wash your food before eating. It is all about boosting your immune system, so the same as you keep your house clean you need to keep your food clean, specially fruit and raw food.

Most of us think that the media coverage of swine flu is exaggerated; still, it does not hurt us to do a little bit of prevention job in regards to our health!

Carpet cleaning on recession

Recession strikes again, but this time for the better! A new survey from the National Carpet Cleaners Association (NCCA) has revealed an increase of business on the carpet cleaning sector.

There are different reasons for these. The main one is the fact that more and more clients are less willing to buy a new carpet when an accident happens; there is a tendency to restore carpets instead of replacing them due to the amount of income available.

This economic crisis has forced a lot of people to change their expending habits. Money is now spent on important and essential items. As well the downfall on the housing market has meant fewer houses built, therefore less carpets are needed.

At the same time that the carpet cleaning business experiences an increase in sales, customer behaviour is changing and we can find more clients expecting good value for money.

So the message for the cleaning industry, and specifically for carpet cleaning, is very clear: now more than ever we need to proof our expertise and provide high level of service to increase customer satisfaction.

Asthma Day: 5th of May

Next 5th of May will be World Asthma Day. It will be a trivial day for most of us and you may think why you should celebrate it!

The fact is that more than ever people are encounter a big health problem that can be generated in our work places or our homes. 5,4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma.

The charity Asthma UK is warning professional cleaning companies as well as the public in general about the chemicals used to clean offices and homes.

Substances like air fresheners, aerosol sprays, certain cleaning chemicals or dust from insects and animals can damage our health and can cause fatal asthma attacks.

Living with asthma is a constant battle to avoid substances that can trigger asthma (such as dust, chemicals, fumes or perfumes). As Asthma UK advises, we can always do our bit by using environmentally friendly products and keeping good levels of hygiene around the house.

How dirty is your computer keyboard?

I have recently red some researches regarding the effects of dirty keyboards and telephones and I got quite surprised!

Do you know that your computer keyboard can contain more than 3000 different kinds of germs? Do you know that listeria or salmonella can sit on your keyboard, mouse or telephone for up to 24 hours? This will, in theory, make your electronic appliances even dirtier than your toilet bowl!

These findings are quite alarming, but still people do not really see the cleaning of their keyboards as a priority.

However, having your phone or keyboard or electrical appliances regularly cleaned could have important advantages. A proper clean will limit the spread of infection as well as extend the appliances lifetime.

So, next time you organize the deep clean of your fridge or oven with your domestic cleaner, do not forget about the deep clean of your computer and telephone!

domestic cleaning and the minimum wage

There was a lot of debate in the domestic cleaning services industry about the minimum wage increase in October 2008, some people saying that it would decrease employment, others saying that it would have little effect.

Interestingly the credit crunch and the recession has diverted people’s discussions away from this debate. is friendly with most other domestic cleaning firms, it is a small industry where everyone really knows everyone .  The general conclusion is that in most areas it has had no measurable difference. 

This is partly because it is hard to measure in comparison to the general recession of the economy which has had a far larger effect.  Also before the minimum wage increased to £5.73, in most areas agencies had to pay a bit more than the minimum wage to get the great staff they needed anyway. 

Also as far as individual agencies are concerned, as all their rivals also have to pay more in each area to get staff they are at no disadvantage to their competitors.   Cleaners are needed in a specific areas so it is not something where there are competing with those located abroad that are not subject to these laws.

All in all, the challenging marketplace is caused by the current state of the economy and not the minimum wage increase. 

The management at Amy Domestic Cleaning Agency Services has been through a few recessions and has always been fine, so we regard it as all just a little history repeating. 

It is a sad fact though that many newer agencies do not have experience with these conditions and have not set themselves up correctly for them.  Normally the domestic cleaning agency services that are not managing to make it during these conditions are those that do not have proper financial reporting, organisation skills, management experience and biggest of all they have bank borrowings.

If you are a  agency that is having troubles, please do feel free to give us a call and we are always happy to chat to and help good people.