Today I want to talk to you about Cleaning Tips. We can take many routes with this: How to clean, when to clean, how often to clean, what to use to clean with…. LOTS! I am going to talk about how to clean. Why? because every time I hire someone or interview someone I always get the same answer: “I know how to clean” and if they have a cleaning background; working with other cleaning companies or employed by a company to be their cleaner, I still get the same answer.
Wellll…..this is rarely the case when you bring them on board and have them show you how to clean. (insert shaking head). It is rare though, that you actually find someone who actually knows the level of cleaning needed to meet MY standards of clean. To help those employees who come on board with the enthusiasm you love and energy you want to represent your company, I have done several things.
- created a checklist for residential cleaning, another for commercial & office cleaning, one for move ins/outs and one for post construction & renovations. This is a wonderful tool for the employees to use to help them keep on track and to know EXACTLY how much we cover in each location. However, I also communicate to my employees if a client is wanting more or less than what is posted on the checklist. This way everyone knows what is expected of them at each location.
- I am a hands on business owner. Some of you may disagree with this and have a supervisor or manager that runs and oversees operations & training and that is great! But you need to have a system in place to ensure that your manager or supervisor is still following up and providing the best training available to each employee. Yes, you can definitely train that person to oversee everything and have complete confidence that they are maintaining your level of expectations for cleaning, but I am still the owner of the company and like to do surprise visits. Back to me being hands on…I like to personally train each staff member as well as witness my training supervisors on how they train each staff member. If there are any things missing or that I do not agree with, then I discuss this with my supervisors away from employees.
- Follow up. I know I briefly mentioned this in number 2 but this part is very important. It is good to empower employees, supervisors and managers but never let the reins out too much. You want every employee know that this is your company and that you have worked very hard building it and you expect it to remain at the level of cleaning you have provided since day one.
Moving along….now that you have a cleaning system in place with your employees and a follow up system in place, we can get to the cleaning portion of this. As a cleaning company you never want to skip corners, your clients will notice. They may tell you or they may not. More often than not, they will not tell you. People do not like to feel like they are complaining. Some definitely will. Do not think you or your employees are getting away with it and allow this type of attitude to start with yourself and definitely not with your employees. Once your staff feel that you do not care or that it doesn’t really matter, you will be in trouble. Back on track…Clients will sometimes set you up to test you. I have found pennies on the floor under chairs, wads of cash left out, jewelry cases left open, other items left under couches, etc. Whether they are testing you to see if you are honest or they simply left in a hurry and didn’t put their money away or close their jewelry case, doesn’t matter, I always see it as a test. Let’s talk about the items under chairs and couches: I always see this as a test as to whether we are cleaning under them or not. There shouldn’t be a question here, you always clean under the beds, couches, etc. If they have clutter under the bed, then this is different.
I’m going to skip into the importance of detailing. Areas that most employees do not think about or even do unless told & shown are critical places. I will list these instead of discussing them each in detail: Residential:
- headboards. Fabric or not, it needs to be cleaned. Your head is near all the dust. And I mean all those push in pin areas, the top, all of it!
- bedframes. the edges collect dust and the top near the pillows.
- move those night tables! they aren’t usually heavy, so move them and see what you find!
- baseboards. OMGOLLY, how many of you do NOT do this? Shame on you. You do not need to do it every week (unless they have pets). But come on! Keep up.
- Ceiling fans. I know you are not all doing these because I have had to REPEATEDLY tell my employees to do them. LOOK UP. You’ll be surprised what you find.
- Vents. again, look up and see those air filters on the walls and in the bathroom. Clean them.
- Lights. You would be surprised at the little webs that get on those and around. NOTE: do not dust or wipe them when they are on or have been on. (especially the big round bulbs). They will explode.
- Behind monitors, tvs, these areas may be hard to reach but there is nothing worse than looking behind to see exactly where your employee cleaned and the dust area where they did not.
- Picture frames. you need to keep up with these. there is nothing worse than running a finger along the top to find lots of dust. same with mirrors. Be careful when you clean these areas, some people do not know how to properly hang these items and they could fall off the wall. ( I know this from experience)
- Around animal bowls. Yuck! how many clients do not clean the slim build up around these dishes? or even change their animals dishes altogether? Shame on them! I have cleaned their animal dishes when I see they are disgusting, I have even taken one of the client’s nice porcelain cups and put water in it for their cat. Do not treat your animals like this people! especially when I am cleaning your home! I also change dirty water. I will not feed their animals because they could be on a specific schedule, but water, absolutely!
That’s enough for residential. I could go on and on! Door knobs, frames, light switches, high touch wall areas. So many more areas that people are not doing and keeping up with. This is what people see and so should you as a company! Train your staff to look up and start from left to right in each room. This way there is never a question of: “Did I do this already?” and if your employees are in teams of two, and one enters a room to find that employee washing windows to the left, they will know that that employee has not covered the shelves on the right yet. Get it? Simple. Have a system, follow up, communicate.
I am not going to cover office cleaning tips because they are very similar. OH… but I will cover a few more points that are REALLY important! Bathrooms! omgolly. People, if you do not know how to clean a toilet, then you have no business being employed for cleaning. Never use a cloth. (these go into my laundry machine and I do NOT want other people’s pee in my machine!) this is where we use paper towel. You scrub the bowl, then you spray the porcelain edge all around, then under the seat (while it is still up) wiping after spraying of course, then the top of the seat, behind the seat, the back of the toilet, the handle, the sides of the back and top of the toilet tank. THEN you spray and wipe all along the bottom sides of the bowl and around each knob that secures the toilet to the ground. Are you done? NO. You now spray the floor around the toilet, the baseboards and walls on every side of the toilet. Then you are done.
Kitchen. Clean the inside of the microwave. It is absolutely disgusting how many people do not clean this regularly. Do this as part of your cleaning for them.
Ok. I think that is quite a bit covered for cleaning tips. I welcome feedback! Happy cleaning!