Tag Archives: amy cleaning agency

How to get the best cleaner

1293173_excellenceIt can all seem very straightforward when you decide to get domestic help. You think through a list of requirements and either write a brief add to go on your local shop window or call an agency. However your initial interview with a cleaner, whether agency sent or found through other sources, quite often can become a one way communication with clients firing out requirements and failing to listen or ask. This then very often leads to problems in future and eventually cleaner leaving. There are lots of factors that might determine your decision on which cleaner to choose such as experience, knowledge of language, general attitude and many more.

If you are going through the agency and pay an agency fee you expect to get all the factors named above taken into consideration and all the requirements met in return.

One of the most common requirements for clients will always be having a cleaner come on a specific day and time. Here at Amy cleaning we have discovered that most of the clients would like their house cleaned before the weekend. Therefore Thursdays and Fridays are our busiest days. Good cleaners get fully booked for those days very quickly. We do of course understand and follow your preferences at all times, however our aim is to offer a cleaner who will stay with you long term. Flexibility with day gives clients a much wider spectrum of cleaners to choose from and therefore possibility of getting the very best that the agency has to offer increases dramatically. Clients would often choose end of the week regardless and we are very happy to serve such clients too but we always advise to take the above into consideration before making your final decision.

Clients do also prefer cleaners with fluent English. Most of the agencies will not have cleaners who do not speak English, however it is important to understand that levels of their knowledge might vary greatly. Poor English may not necessary mean a bad cleaner. In fact, it is often quite the opposite. Cleaner who does not speak well, will always try her hardest and will go the extra mile for client as she will be aware that there are others with better language skills who can replace her very easily. Such cleaners are also more likely to look at cleaning as long term job rather than a temporary stop over between changing jobs therefore they will stay with clients a lot longer.

Here at Amy Cleaning we also have a very multicultural office staff that is always happy to help with passing on instructions or any specific messages to your cleaner in their own native tongue in those rare cases when you may have trouble communicating to them.

How to choose cleaning products

1193877_clean_home_2The quality of cleaning, whether done by you or a professional cleaner, depends highly on the products used. It is easy to get confused in the current market as there are so many options to choose from. Bellow you will find a list of basic cleaning products created by Amy Cleaning to help you out.

It may be very tempting to buy multipurpose products for the house, but this is not the route to take for best results. Remember that products orientated to specific target market and specific surfaces in this case, will always work better. If you have wooden surfaces, invest in a good polisher for wood; if you have marble, look out for sprays designed to clean marble. Multipurpose cleaners may even damage your surfaces in some cases so always keep an eye on something designed for sole purpose.

List of recommended cleaning products:

*Rubber gloves
*Kitchen surface cleaner and oven cleaner
*Dishwashing liquid
*Cleaner for bathtubs and sinks
*Window and glass cleaner
*Wood polish
*Upholstery/carpet spot remover
*Microfiber or feather duster
*Toilet bowl cleaner
*Toilet bowl brush
*Cloths and paper towels
*Mop and bucket
*Broom and dustpan
*Vacuum cleaner and vacuum cleaner bags

Here at Amy Cleaning the most common problem that cleaners come across is that they do not have enough cloths. Please make sure that you invest into cloths and sponges on a regular basis as that is something that can only be used for limited time before it has to be disposed off. Bear in mind that your cleaner will be using separate cloth for each room and each area of your house. Always discuss with her what she needs and follow her advice.

What to expect from your cleaner

935633_heroA domestic cleaner is always a great help and sometimes a real savior but she is never a superwoman.

If you want a good and lasting relationship with your cleaner be realistic with your requirements and treat her with the respect that she deserves. You are paying her for professional service and for her knowledge so trust and listen to her. Perhaps your domestic cleaner does not always have perfect English but she will always, especially if you choose her through a reputable agency, have plenty of experience and will know her job. Try not to take this as invitation to fill her task sheet with never ending duties though. Your role must not be diminished as well. No job will be done well if you will not find time to buy suitable cleaning products. Ironing will not be finished to high standard if you will leave piles and piles of it. Allow plenty of time if you want the job done to good standards. Miracles do not happen, mostly they are just the result of very hard work.

Be realistic. We, at Amy cleaning agency normally advise that it can take up to 1 hour to iron 5 shirts. It can take even more if they are over dried or have not been pressed the correct way previously. For example it is nearly impossible to take out creases from your shirt sleeves if they have been pressed with creases in before. It will take more than a few washes to achieve this. Change water in your iron as old water will leave lime scale marks on your clothing. Clothing stains should also be left for the dry cleaner, not a domestic cleaner to deal with.

Be careful with stains on surfaces. Some stains such as lily pollen, glue, mustard, blood or ink are nearly impossible to remove. Do not expect your cleaner to be a magician. Bear in mind that scrubbing stains on carpet carries heavy risks of damage and discolouring to material. Same goes for wood, marble or any stone surfaces. Invest in good products. Avoid the so called cleaning “shortcuts” as bleach or abrasive cloths. They will cause more harm than good.

There is always a reason why a cleaner is saying “no” to your request. Listen to her advice and you will have someone who will clean for you to come.

Disinfect or not to disinfect?

1147668_question_iconThere is a lot of debate at the moment about the importance of disinfectants in cleaning and whether they are used correctly. Here at Amy Cleaning we noticed that clients always request for the obvious: clean and disinfected toilet bowls, sinks, kitchen surfaces. Every professional cleaner will know the bearing of these, however not everyone is aware that things that may look like they need less attention are actually the biggest hot spots for bacteria.

For example, we all know that dangerous bacteria can be present in toilet bowls and therefore these must be disinfected regularly. However, we fail to realize that the only people that will come in contact with it would be those doing the cleaning itself and they will surely use protective gloves to avoid any possible risk of cross contamination. It may not be necessary to use strong chemicals for this type if cleaning.

On the other hand, how many of us would look twice at the products we use for cleaning our chairs, tables and kid’s highchairs? These are the items that are used by numerous people throughout the day and can easily become covered with dangerous bacteria. The best approach to cleaning such items and areas would normally be disinfectants and conventional cleaning products. Unfortunately these are normally very dangerous to the environment and unless labeled as “eco friendly”, will always leave toxic footprint.

Disinfectants are normally evaluated by their performance in cleaning germs and not by their friendliness towards environment so do avoid using them where it is not necessary. There are ways to disinfect without chemicals and new products are pushing their way through to the market, but it will probably be a while until it will reach domestic sector. Until that happens, think twice before reaching for disinfectant spray and be sure that it really is necessary. This does not mean skipping cleaning of our toilet bowls just because they are not touched but that we should have a second look around the house and decide what places and things attract the most bacteria and carry the biggest risk of contamination and then use disinfectants accordingly.

Know the difference between disinfectant and sanitizer too. Disinfectant is designed to completely destroy all organisms on surface while sanitizer reduces bacteria on the surface to a safe level. Do not mix these two and make the right decision about where and when each of those should be used.

Value of good training

329649_training_room_2The advantage of having a cleaner through a reputable agency, such as Amy Cleaning, is that they train their staff. The importance of training is as significant in cleaning as in any other industry. For example spread of MRSA bacteria was increased due to incorrect usage of disinfectant wipes. Although very effective, these are only designed for single use therefore will lose its effect if used repeatedly. Proper training could have easily prevented this. Examples of such crucial mistakes can be easily found everywhere, in domestic cleaning as well.

When training our cleaners at Amy Cleaning we always stress the importance of using different cloths/wipes for different areas to avoid cross contamination. If the cleaner will use your products, make sure you buy new cloths regularly. Be extra vigilant if you have babies or kids in your household; those tiny hands will always reach for every corner and will have to touch every surface so you must make sure they are all cleaned thoroughly and correctly. In cases where there will be no option to use different cloths any good cleaner must be trained how to disinfect their cloths. It is also helpful to introduce colour coding system, especially in bigger properties. For example have red cleaning cloths and products for kitchen, blue for bathroom etc. This will alert the cleaner and prevent any possible problems. First introduced in 2007 by one of the biggest cleaning contractors this method has since been used widely in both domestic and commercial cleaning. Workers come to cleaning industry from various backgrounds, cultures and with different levels of English therefore this also has advantage of preventing language barrier problems as your cleaner will always know what chemical to use and where without you telling her.

At Amy Cleaning we also train our staff on health and safety, how and what chemicals to use as well as how to be proficient in customer service.

Cleaner’s job might often go unnoticed unless it is not done properly. Go with the agency and let us do the training for you.

Confused with employment law?

1282167_hammer_1If you decide to get domestic help, it is likely that you are leading a very busy lifestyle and may not be able to be there when they clean. Therefore, you will be handing over keys to your property. Naturally, you must trust the person entering your house and carry out necessary checks to put your mind at ease.

Domestic cleaning industry in London is dominated by immigrant workers, therefore it is important to keep yourself up to date with employment law so you would not make crucial mistakes that may result in penalties. If you have decided to go through a cleaning agency, there might be an option for all this to be done by them. We at Amy Cleaning carry out careful vetting with each applicant; all documents are being monitored on a daily basis. If you decide to go solo and hire a cleaner yourself, there are few main immigration rules that you should know.

European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals are free to live and work in the UK. However, workers from A8 (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) countries may need to get authorization from the UK Border Agency to work in the UK. This is known as workers registration scheme (WRS). They may be exempt from this because they came to the UK before the WRS started (1 May 2004) or they have already worked in the UK for 12 months without a break

A2 nationals (Bulgarians or Romanians) are free to come to the UK but they do need work permits.
Most of Romanians and Bulgarians walking through our agency doors will already have domestic cleaner/ student visa or blue or yellow cards permitting them work. If this will not be the case, they would need to apply for self employment straight away in order to work for us. Same as with A8 nationals, Romanians and Bulgarians no longer need permission to take on work after they have worked legally for 12 months. They do not need permit to work as self employed, but they do have to register. Current rules state that anyone working on a self employed basis must register within three months of starting.

Foreign students: most of student visas will allow 10 or 20 hours a week work during term time and full-time work during vacation periods.

Be vigilant though as new types of visa’s and permits are issued everyday and new employment laws are being introduced. Not knowing will not protect you from responsibility.

Cleaner of the month: March 2010

This month Guljan has been awarded with the “Best cleaner award”. She started working with us on November last year. She has always proved to be very professional, showing good knowledge of cleaning and customer care.

Some of her clients’ references:

“We are indeed very happy with Guljan – she came in today and did an excellent job again.”

“We are very happy with Guljan and the services provided.”

“Dear all,  just wanted to say that Guljan cleaned my flat last week and indeed did a very good job. I was much impressed!

Thank you for your hard work Guljan!

Cleaner of the month, February 2010

Vilma is the new cleaner of the month for February at https://www.amycleaning.co.uk. She started working with us on February 2007, and since then we have not received any complain from her clients. She is an amazing person, kind and hard worker as well as a very good cleaner who care about her customers.

One of Vilma’s clients said: “very happy with Vilma thanks – she does a great job!”.

Another client said: “Everything is going really well with Vilma!

Congratulations Vilma!

Cleaner of the month (January 2010)

This time round, at https://www.amycleaning.co.uk we have one excellent cleaner of the month: Carolina. She has been cleaner of the month before, but after showing such high level of care to her customers we think she deserves to be cleaner of the month again.

Here are some of the comments from her clients:

“We were very satisfied with Carolina’s cleaning on Friday…she had done a very good job!”

“Just a quick note to say that Carolina did an excellent job on my flat today – it has been really well cleaned!”

“Carolina is the best cleaner I have had.”

“We’re very happy with Carolina, she’s doing an excellent job.”

“I just wanted to say that Carolina was fantastic today. Thank you again for recommending her. She is incredibly professional and efficient. My flat has never looked so good.”

Congratulations Carolina and a big thank you from the team at http://www.amycleaning.co.uk!

Cleaners of the month: November

This Christmas season at http://www.amycleaning.co.uk we have two new cleaners of the month:

Agnieszka  started working for us some years ago. Since then, she has proved to be a good cleaner and reliable person. She has also recommended some of her friends to work for us. She has always been very helpful when in contact with the agency.

Anna  joined the agency on March this year. We already have some good feedback from her clients and she has proved to be very patience and understanding all the way.

Well done and Congratulations!