Tag Archives: house cleaning

My new house mate is a mouse!

Last night was one of those long-open-eyes night where I couldn’t even find a position in my bed to get a good sleep. When you are in the dark, sitting on the bed, trying some self-hypnosis to go back to your sweet dreams, the only thing you can do is hear noises. Lots of noises. Strange noises.

Luckily for me, last night I was awake enough to listen to my new “house mate” trying to jump into the rubbish bag like a parachute man to start his late dinner!

Mice are a big problem. If you don’t cut it short, they will establish themselves on the warm environment of your house and soon you will have a full Mickey Mouse family of dads, siblings, uncles and so on.

First essential tip to avoid these “unwanted” neighbours: Clean, clean and clean. Sorry! There is no other way. A small bread crumb that you leave on the kitchen floor could be the start of a feast for your little house mate. And do not leave open rubbish bags during the night like I did! (I know! silly me!)

Another helpful tip: Organise your house. Leave it empty of clutter. This will avoid the creation of warm and cosy places for the little mice to stay in.

No need to say that I didn’t manage to catch my “housemate” yet. But… I am watching you!! 🙂

Saving time and money with your domestic cleaner

Domestic cleaners are always keen to provide great customer service. It is part of their job! A regular cleaner will always start cleaning your house with dedication and with time will start doing extra tasks around the house without you telling her anything, such as watering the plants.

This “going the extra mile” that some domestic cleaners show is a really good thing for customers that are expecting their cleaners to do extra tasks around the house when they come around. But if you just want to have your house clean, then seeing your domestic cleaner “wasting” time doing trivial things may be very upsetting. Imagine: you are happy with your cleaner but you end up letting her stay longer and paying her more because she cannot finish on time trying to make your house spotless!

When you hired a domestic cleaner you have to be very specific about what needs to be done in your house. This will help you organise the cleaning properly on the time available without the need to pay for extra hours.

Usual tasks that will take a lot of time would be:

–          Picking up clothes or toys

–          Picking up dirty dishes/glasses around the house

–          Organising dirty clothes/linen

–          Special requests such as deep cleanings.

So think about your priorities. It may be that you are happy for the cleaner not to dust the rooms one day if that means having the oven deep cleaned. Or maybe you do not want your cleaner to pick your “undies” from underneath the bed and instead you can do it yourself on the day before, allowing her to concentrate on the cleaning.

The list of tasks when talking about house cleaning is endless. This small list will give you some food for thought and hopefully may help you organise the cleaning on a more effective way.

Micro-fibre cloths: cleaning with no chemicals

e-cloth1Would you like to have a product that can clean you house as well as being kind to your family and the environment and saving you money and time? We have the answer you were looking for: micro-fibre cloths.

There is a growing number of people turning their backs on traditional household chemicals. Call it health reasons or money saving, people are discovering the advantages of the micro-fibre cloth. Can you imagine a cloth that can clean your surfaces with just water and leave them free of grease, dirt and bacteria? Well, it exists! Here at http://www.amycleaning.co.uk we have some clients that had made the swap to the micro-fibre cloths and their cleaners are surprised about the possibilities this type of cleaning offers.

Micro-fibre cloths are made of nylon and polyester on different quantities. The fibres are 1/100th the width of a human hair (that is why they are so soft!) and they clean by breaking up and absorbing the dirt and bacteria from the surfaces.

On the market you can find heavy duty cloths, for cleaning thick dirt, lighter weight cloths (good for cleaning windows) and even a mop set! So you can keep your house clean with just a little bit of warm water and a micro-fibre cloth.

Do not think about their price (they cost more than normal cloths) as they can last around 300 washes; so they will be with you for months to come. Give it a try and let us know how it went!

Vetting my house cleaner

passportThese days we have been flooded with news about the Home Office and employment rules regarding immigrants. It is always a tricky issue on the domestic cleaning sector and people are very concerned about their domestic cleaners and their right to work in this country.

Checking passports and documents is part of what you should do when having a domestic cleaner working for you. On the interview it is important to make the correct checks and the necessary photocopies to avoid any future problems.

This week at http://www.amycleaning.co.uk we have had calls from some clients asking about our vetting procedure. Luckily we are on the top in terms of vetting and checking documents for our domestic cleaners! Because we know the importance of vetting, we have make it our priority when interviewing applicants; and let me tell you, it works!

Would you like a quick tip? It is never too late to vet your cleaner, so do it as soon as possible. If you are not sure on how to do it, rely on the experience of a domestic cleaning agency, it will save you a lot of hassle.

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 to do an “after Christmas” kitchen cleaning

We have finished with our Christmas season and we are back to normal life. It is now when we realize that having a 10kg turkey and roasted vegetables and pudding and ice cream… has paid off, not only on us but on our kitchen also!

Do not worry! Doing a deep clean of the kitchen after your Christmas fun it is not at all difficult.

First of all, make sure you have everything that you need, chemicals, cloths and so on. Have them ready on top of the table, so you do not waste time looking for the oven cleaner when you are half way through the cleaning process.

Secondly, make a list of what you have to do. This way you can make sure that you tick all the boxes when you finish your job.

When you think about doing a deep clean it is important that you think “top to bottom” and “left to right”. This means that you will need to start, for example, dusting the ceiling and will need to finish moping the floor.  If you follow a structured work, it will be easier and quicker to finish with the cleaning.

Here is a check list to help you with your deep cleaning:

  1. Dust ceiling and corners of wall.
  2. Dust ceiling fan.
  3. Clean windows inside and out.
  4. Wipe all wooden works: wooden door frames and window ledges.
  5. Clean all walls.
  6. Clean in/outside all kitchen cupboards and drawers.
  7. Clean in/outside microwave, oven and fridge/freezer.
  8. Clean washing machine, tumble drier, dish washer, kettle, toaster, mixer.
  9. Remove all grease and grime from worktops.
  10. Wash and de-scale sink and taps.
  11. Wash worktops.
  12. Dust and clean chairs, table.
  13. Sweep, mop, vacuum underneath movable furniture.
  14. Sweep, mop, vacuum floor.
  15. Empty and wash bin.

This list can be longer if your kitchen needs it. Be flexible with it and feel free to add new tasks, such as deep clean of the fan, if you feel strong enough!

The last advice we can give you: Get your music up! Listening to your favorite songs while you clean will put you in the mood and the time will pass by.

The chemicals list: what do I need to have in my house.

Here you can find some advise on the necessary chemicals and utensils to have in your house for the weekly cleaning. Whether it is your domestic cleaner or yourself doing the house work, there are always some essential tools to get the best results.

We can make a difference between “the essentials” and “the advance option”, depending on your preferences. If you are not a cleaning maniac and consider other parts of your life more important than having your silver cleaned every week, then the “essentials list” would be enough for you. If, on the other hand, you take care of your house as if it was a golden chamber, then it would be better to add some extra chemicals/tools that will add up sparkle to your cleaning life.

Let’s go with the “essentials list” first:

  1. Gloves. Do not expect your domestic cleaner to brush your toilet without them; it is not only disgusting but a health and safety risk. If you do not want your house cleaner to use your washing up gloves, buy another pair for her.
  2. A vacuum cleaner. This will not be used on carpet only, but all floors around the house. It is quicker than the broom, thus saving time for the cleaner to do other things around the house. Remember that every vacuum is a different world so do not leave your cleaner to explore it without you; give her some tips on how to use it and how to change the bag!
  3. A broom. It is always advisable to have a back up plan in case the vacuum cleaner breaks down.
  4. A dustpan. If you have a broom you will definitely need a dustpan.
  5. A mop. Cleaning the kitchen and bathroom floor on your knees is not easy. Having a proper mop and bucket will ease the job enormously.
  6. Several dishcloths. We are again talking about Health and Safety. Your domestic cleaner will need to use different cloths for each task and room (it would be better if they are color coded), otherwise we can create cross contamination, putting your health in danger.
  7. Yellow duster. It is the cheapest cloth you can buy on the market, and the best one to do the dusting and polish the furniture. You can wash them and re-use them with no problem.
  8. Nylon cleaning pads. They work much better than sponges to clean stubborn stains but they do not scratch the surfaces.
  9. Bin liners.
  10. Kitchen towels. They absorb the water extremely well and are great to clean glass and shiny surfaces. It will help your domestic cleaner and will leave your house like you have never seen it before!
  11. Wood or laminate floor cleaner.
  12. Glass cleaner.
  13. Toilet cleaner.
  14. Oven cleaner.
  15. All purpose anti bacterial cleaner. You can buy bathroom and kitchen cleaner if you prefer.
  16. Furniture polish-wax free.
  17. Limescale remover.
  18. Hob cream cleaner.

What about the “Deluxe” list? Apart from the chemicals and utensils listed above you will need to add this ones:

  1. Micro fibre cloths. The best thing about them is that you can clean your windows with no chemical at all! They are a little bit more expensive but they are re-usable, so at the end you are saving money.
  2. Lambswool flick duster. It attracts dust the best and you can reach high corners and top of wardrobes and doors.
  3. Silver cleaner.
  4. Granite and marble cleaner.
  5. Wax polisher. For wooden furniture and antiques.
  6. Degreasing cleaning spray. Very useful for the kitchen; it does not only clean but takes the grease out of wardrobes and surfaces.

Every house is different and people’s preferences change with time, so do not take this lists as a must have. It is always advisable to share the list with your domestic cleaner and see if she is comfortable with the list.