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What Should Your House Cleaner Never Bring Into Your Home?

While you may have never thought about this before, if you have hired a service or an individual for house cleaning, this is something that you have to think about now. This goes for the cleaning of any type of building but it is especially important for residential cleaning. Believe it or not, you should be the person supplying everything that the house cleaning person needs, instead of the housekeeper bringing their own cleaning supplies.

A few of the things that should never be brought into your home for residential cleaning would be that of dirty sponges and cleaning rags that were used in another home or another office. You simply do not know where those rags and sponges have been, where or what they cleaned and whether or not they have been sterilized. The best thing to do is to have a good sized collection of brand new sponges and rags already at your home for your residential cleaning person to use.

While those items are things that many people already know about when it comes to house cleaning, what about the vacuum? Why is it that the house cleaning person cannot bring in their own vacuum instead of using the one you already have at the house? Think about the things that could be in the vacuum bag that could find its way out in your house. Before you know it you could have fleas and lice all over your house, simply because someone brought in a vacuum that had a used vacuum bag in it.

This also goes for brooms, dusters, and brushes. Anything and everything that your house cleaning person would need to do their job at your house should be supplied by you. This way, you are in total control and you can rest peacefully knowing that your home will not be infected with fleas, mold, bacteria, or fungus. Just thinking of such things is enough to probably gross you out, imagine if you had to actually come face to face with such terrors!

Not only will you ensure that nothing nasty will be carried from someone else’s home into your own, you can also ensure that your house cleaning person is using the best resources possible. By supplying the cleaning supplies, you can have the housekeeper use green products and a vacuum that using low electricity. When the residential cleaning person brings in their own tools and supplies, you really do not have much control over what is being used and what isn’t being used.

So now that you are more informed on the subject, it is time to get to work and go ahead and hire that housekeeper to come to help keep your home sparkling clean.

A Step by Step System to Clean Your Home Like a Professional Residential House Cleaner

Having a system in place will help the average homeowner clean their home faster and more efficiently. As an owner of a large cleaning company in Ocean County NJ I’ve often been asked how is it that our cleaners are able to be in and out of their home in less than 2 hours. Customer’s state it takes them all day on a Saturday to clean and it doesn’t look half as good as the way the cleaners do it? The reality is that a professional house cleaner is in the home to do a job. Cleaners aren’t distracted by request from children, the house phone ringing, the dog needing to go out and so on. If you were to be able to put all distractions aside the other reason cleaners are able to still able to move more rapidly with great quality is having the right tools and a system to follow.

Having the right tools to clean can really help in saving time and it doesn’t have to cost a lot either. First you should separate the tools needed for wet areas of the home (bathroom & kitchen) and for the dry areas. A good cleaning tote that can hold your chemicals, sponges, brushes and other accessories will help. In this tote keep a few rags to use to shine, dry and buff. In a separate tote keep you dry tools such as vacuum attachments, polish spray, Windex and some microfiber cloths. A bottle with water and vinegar will also be just as efficient as polish and Windex while being better for the environment. In this bucket have a nice wooly for doing corners of walls, fans and high dusting. Lastly having two separate vacuums will really assist in better quality and faster speed. A good canister to vacuum hard surface floors, stairs, furniture and corners will be much more efficient than an upright with tools and easier to carry. You can purchase the Hoover CH30000 for less than hundred dollars and it should last forever. A powerful upright like the Hoover C1404 or Oreck XL2000 will save time in vacuuming carpet as they’re strong machines that are light and easy to operate.

Now that you have your tools to clean this is a quick system that should really help in reducing time and keeping your home white glove clean:

  1. Begin with you Lambswool Duster in the top floor of the home and begin going from room to room to dust all corners of walls, behind furniture, fans, high light fixtures. End in the kitchen. Doing this first allows all dust to settle. Very important when using the duster and whenever dusting to work from top to bottom to allow dust to settle. As your high dusting carry a bag to empty all trash cans.
  2. Next grab your wet tote and head off to the bathrooms. The dust has had a chance to settle. Empty everything on the floor and put it outside the door. Vacuum the floor with you small canister vacuum as this will assist when you need to scrub the floor for small hairs.
  3. Begin with the scrubbing the sink first. Then wash the mirror, counters and dry the sink. Important to follow this order as if you do the mirror first and then the sink when you’re scrubbing your sink the water will go back on the mirror and you’ll waste time redoing the mirror. Use a toothbrush occasionally around corners and faucets to loosen any built up dirt.
  4. Proceed to the shower area. Empty it, wash off ledges for dust to fall to bottom and if you have shower doors get inside the tub to do them first. Proceed then by scrubbing the walls, faucet and basin. Dry and clean outside bottom basin or shower door.
  5. Proceed to all fixtures on the walls to dust and wipe down.
  6. Proceed to the toilet to scrub inside bowl and outside. Again use a toothbrush around corners. Don’t forget to dust toilet tissue holder.
  7. Wipe down all doors
  8. Lastly wipe floor from furthest point toward door. Use a scrub brush occasionally to loosen up dirt and for larger floors a good deck brush will speed the process.
  9. Head to next bathroom and powder room following same system. When complete leave the wet tote in the kitchen and head back to bedroom areas with your dry tote.
  10. Begin dusting the rooms moving left to right and top to bottom. Move around each room lifting everything possible to remove all dust. Dust each floor and then take your small canister vacuum to vacuum in areas that the larger vacuum can’t reach. Every other month try to wipe all baseboards with a damp cloth and crevice the corners with the vacuum to prevent dust buildup. Take the upright vacuum out to complete the vacuuming for that level of the house. If hard surfaces throughout home, small vacuuming the floor under beds and then mop.
  11. Follow same procedure now in all living areas. Dust first the entire living area again left to right top to bottom. Finish off with vacuuming. Every other month try to vacuum furniture and under cushions.
  12. Head off to the kitchen for completion.
  13. Every other month begin with wiping down kitchen cabinets.
  14. Head to the stove to clean. If the microwave is above the stove wipe it down first so as debris falls it isn’t going on a stove already cleaned. If filters under microwave take out every other month to wipe and clean. This helps the fan work better when cooking. Wipe down stove and take off knobs if possible to clean and soak if necessary.
  15. Next wipe all counters down moving everything to get behind that is possible. Clean toaster, spice racks, front of refrigerator (grill also) by wiping down. Also wipe down tables and chairs.
  16. Fill mopping bucket and then clean your sink. Again use a toothbrush periodically to loosen dirt. Dry sink.
  17. Vacuum kitchen floor
  18. Mop the floor from furthest corner to the exit area. Empty bucket in slop sink and clean. Head back to put everything back and you’re complete!

Following this system should save a tremendous amount of time and assist in having a clean home all the time. As for following a schedule for when to give extra attention to different areas of the home divide the home into four different cleaning zones:

  1. Living Area
  2. Bathroom Area
  3. Sleeping Area
  4. Kitchen Area

Each clean try to pay extra attention to these area’s and you’ll notice you’re cleaning like a professional at top speeds! If this doesn’t work you can always contact The Cleaning Authority of south Jersey or any other around the country and enjoy your free time!

Should You Find The Cheapest House Cleaner To Clean Your Home?

Are you a bargain shopper? Do you thrive on getting the lowest prices for everything? Are you signed up for every single group coupon offer? Is there anything you purchase that shouldn’t be bought at bottom dollar?

Some things are so important to us that we are willing to pay for the best we can get. When we make purchases that involve our children, our own well-being, and our own privacy, we typically do not skimp. So, what does it mean when you pay bottom dollar for a cleaning (or maid) service? And why should you care? They’re just cleaners, right? It’s not “rocket science”…

Let’s take a look at why compromising on price with a maid service is a bad option.

For this article we are going to look at two types of cleaning businesses: those that operate within the law and those that do not. And, reality check, without doing your homework, you may not know them apart.

When you hire a cleaning service you must check their background, how they operate, who they hire, and how they screen employees. Checking an online rating site should never be your only tool in evaluating a service.

A well-established company is one that operates within the law and has many processes in place that protect you and their business. They should be able (and probably would love the chance) to share their business story, hiring and training methods, products they use, services they offer, and the insurances they carry. They will give you a good understanding of their methods and how they operate. A well-established company works on common business etiquette and practices.

A “Trunk Slammer” is an independent individual who works primarily on their own and most often without the benefit of a proper business structure. They’ll tell you how long they’ve been cleaning (years and years) and what a good job they do. When broached about insurance they’ll say, of course, they have insurance. And, they may even tout that they are so much cheaper than others and do a better job. To be sure, there are perfectly legal and thriving independent cleaners out there but they will operate just as an established company and be able to provide the proper information.

Both sound okay at first blush, but take a deeper look. Whenever you are interviewing a prospective service to come on to your private property and in your private space, you should do a couple of things.

1) Ask to have the insurance company(s) send a certificate of insurance. A service may use more than one insurance carrier so make sure you get named on all. You want to see both business liability and worker’s compensation coverages. If you don’t, then call the service and request both. If you receive a copy or a version that does not have your name and address on it (or is not directly from the insurance agent), it should be deemed not accurate. (After all, a service could cancel that policy the day after you get their copied version and have no insurance whatsoever.) This is a hassle for services and they may push back but stand your ground. A reputable service will comply. A less-than-reputable service will not.

It is crucial that the company you hire has the proper insurances (and licenses) to do the work on/in your property. It is also equally crucial that the individuals they send to your property are properly documented.

2) Ask if I-9s have been filed on all employees. The I-9 (and most states have their own version as well) is a federal form that requires two forms of identification to be documented to ensure the applicant has the legal right to work in the United States. Also, ask if thorough background investigations have been performed on applicants. Most companies do background investigations as cheaply as possible and they are often very basic. Ask the service if they do drug testing and if they have had any incidences of theft. If they have, be sure to have them tell you how they dealt with the theft. Was there prosecution? What happened to the employee? You’ll get a good sense of how honest the service is with these questions. Don’t automatically close off the conversation if the service has had theft occur. This does happen even with good services. What is crucial is how they handled it.

If you don’t choose to follow these suggestions and hire an independent cleaner here are some of the risks. (These are also risks for a company too, but more prevalent with the “trunk slammers”.)

Why are you at risk? Many “independent” maids or contractors are considered your employee based on how much control you have over what they do. If an independent cleaner works in your home using your equipment and following your directions, that cleaner may be determined your employee.

If an accident in your home occurs with the maid, depending on where you live, you may be liable for more than just the maid’s medical expenses. Some states even fine you for being an employer and not paying for workers compensation insurance. And, they are usually hefty fines. Are you prepared for that? And, don’t fall into the trap of thinking your homeowner’s insurance will cover it – it won’t.

If there is theft or damage in your home, you may find out too late that there is no coverage or recourse (and always, ALWAYS report theft to the local police). Bonding will only pay in the case of a prosecuted crime (found guilty). Anything less and you’re on your own. Now, is that worth that discount you received? Or that bottom-dollar price?

You may find yourself at even further risk if the contractor in your home is unscrupulous and knows that you are not aware of the law. You are at a dis-advantage!

So remember, if the price is bottom dollar or “too good to be true”, it most likely isn’t true or good for you. If you hire an independent cleaner for $10-12 per hour, chances are VERY good that the proper taxes may not be paid and the proper insurances are not carried. These things cost reputable companies and that is why they charge more. Don’t fall into bargain shopping on this one – it’s not worth it.