Cleaning Tips for the Domestic Cleaner

Cleaning is not an easy job but there are ways that can make it that more efficient, quicker and consistent at a good standard. From running my own small cleaning business I have compiled some top tips for Domestic Cleaners.

▫️ If you are cleaning the same homes on a regular basis set up a routine. Start from the left of the door, work from top to bottom and go round in a clock wise direction. This ensures nothing is missed and you will soon clean quickly on autopilot. But beware, read next tip on what could go wrong.

▫️ When on autopilot cleaning the same home and rooms regularly, you build up a routine which you consistently deliver. This however does have its downfalls, it may mean you are consistently missing that one little bit which over time will build up with dirt. Get a collegue to check once in a while that you are covering everything.

▫️Despite the previous point, remember we will sometimes miss things, we can’t be perfect all the time. If a client complains, you may be frustrated that the one time they notice is the only one time you have missed it, but be polite, apologise and say you will double check next time. Or if it’s something you haven’t been doing see it as constructive criticism, it will better your practice and you will be able to clean their home even better next time. 
 ▫️ If you work in pairs there will always be something that you clean better and vice versa, use this as an advantage. Swap jobs every time you clean the same home so their house is kept in top tip condition every time! So one of you dust one week and bathrooms the next, etc. This also mixes things up a bit so you don’t get bored cleaning the same parts of a home weekly. 

▫️Don’t forget their dog! 🐶 I once left a dog locked out in the garden until their owner returned home. I swear I let it in, I even locked the door behind me but somehow the dog snook out like a ninja! Lesson learnt- ensure doggy is about when you leave. 

▫️ You may sometimes have to clean to a strict time frame, if this is the case remember to PRIORITISE. If you know your client well enough you may know what they like best, or what they don’t mind topping up themselves. If you are unsure I would recommend giving every room a surface clean and then choosing a room or two to deep clean, you can always choose another room the following week if it is a regular clean. However, if you have a standard to stick to ensure this is done every time, for example if a client requests base boards to be dusted weekly then do them weekly.

▫️The finishing touches- these are not faff and are so so important. This is what makes their professionally clean home different to when they do it themselves. Ensure all shiny things are shiny and that all beds are made crisply. These are just two small finishing touches that make such a huge difference. 

▫️ If you have certain tasks to complete during a regular clean, try and fit in a little extra. This is a nice surprise for clients and can often be something that doesn’t take too long. Some examples could be, taking a full bin out or cleaning and sorting out their cleaning cupboard. These little things will not go amiss and will set you out from other cleaners. 

▫️ Don’t get comfortable in your clients home- you’re there to do a job. If you are offered a cuppa and time allows for it, then that’s great but if not politely decline or drink on the go! They pay for you to clean so when you can’t stay on for an extra quarter of an hour after you have sat down for that long, you will not be able to do the job fully. Some clients do like a natter but be mindful of the clock. 

Hope this helps all of you Domestic cleaners 👍🏼 remember how nice you are making someone feel when they come home to a lovely clean home. Whether they have just come home from work, or are unable to do it themselves. They may not always say it, but if they continue to use your services they are appreciative of it. 

Cleaning Carpets & Rugs: How to Remove Stubborn Stains

After some surprising results with the use of white vinegar to get rid of coloured pencil off a white fabric tub chair: Removing stains from laundry & fabrics, I wanted to try it out on various stains on carpets and rugs.

As I like to use natural products, I will always try the most economic solutions first and often find they work the same, or even better then more expensive chemical alternatives. For any stain removal I first try soda crystals or white vinegar.

Stain Removal with soda crystals: Create a paste by mixing with water and then gently rub onto the carpet or rug with a clean dry cloth. I find soda crystals are brilliant for freshening up carpets or rugs, but often don’t remove more stubborn stains. Soda crystals can also be sprinkled on to carpet to soak up any damp areas and then vacuumed up- this will also remove any unwanted odours.

Stain removal with white vinegar: I use a vinegar spray (Stardrops White Vinegar Spray) so it can be simply sprayed directly on to the stained area. To create your own just mix half water and half white vinegar into a spray bottle. Once stain has been sprayed, loosen it by gently scrubbing with a toothbrush or scrub brush and then use a clean dry cloth and gently rub carpet or rug for stain removal. Don’t worry about the strong vinegar smell- this wont last! If you really can’t stand it, you could try mixing with essential oils or fruit peels. Look below for some fab results, they are muddy stains from a pair of busy dogs!

I then tested the white vinegar spray on some stubborn food stains- baked bean juice I think! This didn’t lift the stain as well so I tried a cleaning product with ammonia.

Stain removal with ammonia: I have actually purchased a cleaner with ammonia (my favourite is made by Stardrops) but it is simple enough to make a solution up, – 4 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent and 1 tablespoon ammonia. Apply solution or cleaner to the affected area- leave to soak for more stubborn stains. Once ready to remove, gently loosen the stain with a brush such as a tooth brush and then gently rub stain using a clean dry cloth to lift stain. Below is an example of using the ammonia cleaner to remove baked bean stains.

I hope these stain removal tips will help you with your stubborn stains. Please remember to complete a spot check before applying any products- you don’t want to end up with further stains or discolouration! Just to let you know- I am not paid/endorsed by the makers of Stardrops, I just enjoy using their products! If you have any further tips please comment below. Happy cleaning- Jottie

 

Removing coloured pencil off fabric 

I’ve been looking for more natural and economic ways to effectively clean, and as soon as I saw some white vinegar spray I knew I had to try it! The very first thing I tried it on was coloured pencil that my daughter had decided to decorate my white tub chair with as you can see below!   

All I simply used were the following;

  • White vinegar cleaning spray
  • A clean dry cloth 

  
Method

I simply sprayed on the spray and gently rubbed the marks. The darker colours needed more spray and rubbing then the lighter colours. I wasn’t expecting it to work so effectively and fast! Literally within minutes all the marks were gone and below is a picture of when it had dried, ta dah….  

I was so impressed with the cleaning power of the white vinegar spray! Look out for more posts with the the use of this stuff as I will be trying it on everything! What are your favourite uses of white vinegar? Comment and let us know 🙂 happy cleaning! –Jottie

 

Removing stains from laundry & fabrics

Today I decided to compare my two favourite cheap stain removers- Wilko soda crystals and Starburst power cleaner with ammonia. These are both less then a £1, and each last a while. I chose something with rather stubborn stains to test, my oven gloves!  

   Materials & Products

  • Soda crystals or a cleaner containing ammonia
  • Warm water
  • Damp clean cloth

Method

  1. If using soda crystals mix with warm water to produce a paste and then rub gently on to the soiled areas of the fabric. For the cleaner with ammonia just simply pour on enough to cover the stained area and gently work in with a cloth. 
  2. *Warning* if you haven’t used these products before I would suggest completing a spot check first- especially with the ammonia cleaning product.
  3. Leave product to soak into fabric for a few minutes, for more stubborn stains you may decide to leave for longer. 
  4. Now using a damp cloth, rub stained areas- you may find that this is enough to remove stain completely.
  5. Pop your laundry or fabric into the washing machine for a wash! I did this on a 30 degree wash for economical reasons but you may want a higher temperature for more stubborn stains- read your garment labels for advice on washing temperatures.
  6. Once complete they should be stain free 🙂 if not repeat process. 

Results

 As you can see the ammonia cleaning product was more effective in removing the stains. Despite this I would always try to use soda crystals first to remove stains as they don’t contain harsh chemicals and are a more natural and economic removal method. Soda crystals are brilliant for whitening your whites with only 50g needed, and can remove makeup stains from white collars (which always happens on my work polo)! But for those more tough stains you may have to reach out for the products containing ammonia. I have used ammonia containing cleaners to remove ball point pen off leather sofas, and tomato stains off carpet. 

Feel free to comment below with your successful attempts at stain removal or share on Facebook if you think it was a good tip! Good luck with your stain removal- Jottie 

  

Removing ballpoint pen marks & stains

Taken your eyes off your creative toddler for a few seconds and then have pen marks on your furniture? After trying with regular cleaning products is it still not coming off? I have some handy suggestions that have worked on a variety of surfaces. 

Below is an example of removing it off a leather sofa, but the same method has worked on various surfaces. I would suggest completing a spot check first to ensure that your furniture does not stain or tarnish. 

What you will need

  1. A cleaning product containing ammonia 
  2. Hairspray
  3. Dry cloth

*I used the stardrops home power cleaner with ammonia*

Method

  1. Pour/spray the cleaner with ammonia on to the marked surface. I left for a couple of minutes to soak in
  2. Using the dry cloth rub the pen marks off- as I was doing this on leather I didn’t apply much pressure as it can easily mark 
  3. For any remaining pen stains apply some hairspray onto the area and then use the cloth to rub the marks away- and that should have done the trick! 
  4. Wipe clean the area with a clean damp cloth to ensure no cleaning chemicals are left on your surface

Using hairspray or ammonia alone didn’t work for me on leather but I have previously used hairspray alone on hard surfaces and the pen marks have come straight off. 

Here is the before and after pic: 

  
I hope my cleaning tips will help you to get those pesky pen marks off your furniture! Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comment box below 🙂 -Jottie

  

Removing limescale and water marks from your bathroom

I’ve recently started testing different products to try and remove stubborn limescale from bathrooms, I quickly came across Viakal and so far has successfully removed limescale and water marks off all the shower screens, shower trays and taps that I have tried it with! Bleach will sometimes do the job but Viakal can even get rid of those stubborn water marks off your shower screen and taps making them look brand new and shiny again. When and if I come across a shower it won’t work on my search will start again and no doubt another blog also. 

  
The items I used for this job are as follows:

  • Viakal (I used the one with febreeze for a nice lasting scent)
  • Sponge 
  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Glass cleaner
  • Glass cloth 

  

Method:

  1. I would strongly recommend using a face mask when using this product- I didn’t realise how strong the fumes would be. They are a lot stronger than bleach and when confined in a small space such as a shower I can’t imagine it being very good for you, and of course it says on the packaging to not breathe in. 
  2. Once prepared with your mask and gloves, spray the Viakal across the surface you would like to clean (there are some surfaces which are not suitable for use with this product which will be detailed below). 
  3. For more stubborn bits and marks I would leave the solution to soak in- I found a few minutes did the trick. You can leave the product on for a maximum of 5 minutes. 
  4. Using a sponge scrub the area clean, I didn’t have to put much effort in for most of it but for more troublesome areas like the bottom of shower screens I did have to scrub quite hard. 
  5. Once scrubbed, if possible rinse the solution or use a cloth to remove- this is an important step if you want your end result to be smear free.
  6. Now removed you can shine up your screen, tray or tap. I simply spray some glass cleaner and then polish with a glass cloth, and that’s it, done!

  
Surface type warning

  • Viakal cannot be used on hot, damaged or acid sensitive areas (e.g. Gold, silver, copper and aluminium), coloured or old/damaged enamel, household appliances (including water boilers), natural stone (e.g. Marble, travertine)

Just for your information I haven’t been endorsed by P&G the creators of Viakal, I just thought I would share a great product! Good luck with removing your limescale and water marks- feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions and successes 🙂 –Jottie
 

Getting rid of stubborn mould marks on bath toys

 
After soaking my daughters grippy dots in various products I thought they were due for the bin. I had tried soaking them in bleach and various anti mould sprays but nothing seemed to budge the stubborn mould marks. After reading someone’s success of using denture cleansing tablets I thought I would give it a go. Follow these simple steps below to get rid of mould on your children’s bath toys;

  1. Dissolve one denture cleansing tablet in a bowl of hot water- ensure not boiling as you may melt the toys! I just placed enough water in to cover the grippy dots. 
  2. Place your bath toys in to the solution and preferably leave over night. I tried after a couple of hours and it didn’t clean them very effectively so I placed them in a fresh solution and left to soak. 
  3. Now it’s time to clean your toys- I used an old tooth brush to scrub mine, but a hard sponge should do the job, it just may not reach any awkward places! After a few minutes they looked like this…  

There not “as new” but I’m happy enough to return them to my daughters bath- for around 50p I think this is a great cleaning tip. I picked my denture tablets up from a bargain shop and now do not need to pay to replace them 🙂 I’m also going to look into what other great things these tablets can do! To keep up to date with my blog entries you can follow us on Facebook (click here), where any new entries will be posted. 

Feel free to comment with any tips you have may have. Happy cleaning- Jottie