Today I wish to share with you eight of the most important things that I have learned over the years while working for a professional cleaning company. If you follow the tips and tricks that I’m about to lay out for you here today then I can guarantee that not only will you be able to clean at a much faster speed, but the quality of the cleaning that you do will also improve dramatically. Really its a win-win situation for you. So without further ado lets get into it.
You may believe yourself to be quite a good cleaner (and maybe you are!). However if you are like the countless other cleaning enthusiasts out there then you’ve most likely wondered how the professionals clean. What do they do differently to you? What can you learn from them?
It’s not just better equipment that they have though, a lot of it is also better techniques and lots of experience.
In total I’ve gathered eight different tips from the professionals. I promise no matter how experienced you are and for how long you’ve been cleaning, you’ll definitely come away today having learned at least one new thing (if not many new things).
The major secret is having a strategy. At the end of the day for a commercial enterprise to succeed, efficiency is key. The faster you can clean a home, but maintain quality of course, then the higher your profit margin will be.
Without a specific plan of attack and a checklist of what to do and how to clean each room, then chaos ensues.
1) I’ll start with an obvious tip, but something I still see people ignore. Make sure you have a wide range of different cleaning sprays and solutions available to you. Each room and each surface will require a slightly different combination of products. If you are only using all-purpose cleaners, then the finish you receive on most surfaces wont be perfect and you’ll end up cleaning at both a sub-optimal pace and quality. Make sure you tailor the specific tool and spray to the specific surface or material you are cleaning.
This is also important as the wrong product applied to the wrong surface can cause minor to major (and possibly irreparable) damage.
Safety Note: Be careful mixing and kind of chemicals as even every-day household cleaners can be very harmful if they are accidentally combined. A great example is bleach and ammonia. Both very common, but when mixed give off a very deadly gas.
Also bear in mind that some seemingly benign products like vinegar can be very damaging if applied on marble or some types of porous stone.
Only experience and research can really teach you the correct solution for the job, so that’s another good reason to clean more often. But it’s also wise to some initial research too.
2) Now we’ll really get into some specific strategies. The first is a simple but powerful one. Always make sure that you clean starting at the top of a room and work your way to the bottom. This rule is applicable to every room or hallway in a house. You should also start upstairs at the highest rooms and then you’ll eventually end up downstairs or even in the basement if your house happens to have one.
So here’s a quick idea of exactly what I’m talking about. In a bedroom you’d start by getting an extendable microfiber cloth pole and get rid of all of the dust and cobwebs that are prone to building up in the corners of any room. Then slowly begin to move down by getting any dust that has accumulated in your walls and other items such as doors and picture frame, light fixtures, shelves, architraves etc. Finally run the microfiber around the baseboards.
This method is very efficient and will ensure that you don’t end up cleaning the same area twice. That’s really a massive mistake when cleaning; going over the same area twice. It completely kills your speed and efficiency, so pay close attention to this. The biggest mistake I see when training new cleaners is that they end up having to re-clean certain areas because of not going through the steps in the correct order. The other major mistake is when they clean areas that are simply not dirty. A good example is cleaning am entire kitchen cupboard door when there’s only one small mark on the door. A second example would be cleaning every tile in a shower when in reality its only the tiles below the water line that are in need of cleaning. Above that line only needs to be cleaned periodically.
3) Following on from the step above, make sure that you start in the very back corner of the room and then move to the front of the room. This is where a tray or even better a good apron, makes your life much easier. By starting in the far corner you can ensure that you are not walking over areas that you’ve already cleaned and you will also be bringing your tools with you as you go too.
Relevant Content: http://organizedhome.com/clean-house/speed-clean-tips-from-cleaning-pros
4) We all love to multitask, but it’s a very bad habit. The absolute worst thing is that most of us believe we are actually getting things done faster when we multitask. But the complete opposite is true. Multitasking is not faster and ultimately will just hinder your progress and slow you down. So you must focus on just one room at a time. Maintaining your focus and getting into the zone or “flow”, is when you will really start to hit your stride. This is the state when you are cleaning with maximum efficiency.
Also there is a very strong psychological trick at play here too. When you have one room or area cleaned you’ll feel a strong sense of pride and accomplishment. This will then fuel you and give you the boost you need to continue on, when you inevitably begin to get tired.
5) Again following on from the points above, efficiency is key. So this next tip will help you with this. Only clean in one direction. Either go clockwise or anticlockwise when cleaning a room. Do NOT deviate from this under any circumstances.
This will also help with making sure you are not repeating yourself. Make sure you clean everything as you go, don’t skip anything. It also ensures that you never end up missing a spot.
6) Never leave any surfaces, that you clean, to air dry. This is very common and is usually borne out of laziness. There is also another practical reason to do this. In areas like bathrooms and kitchens, by leaving water sitting on your surfaces, you are helping bacteria to grow, which will cause bad odours to form.
The safety element is also very important, especially if you are cleaning while there are other people in the house It’s very easy to slip on a freshly mopped tile floor, even more so if you weren’t warned about the floor being wet in the first place!
7) Follow the checklist. Always! This will not only ensure that you are cleaning as fast as possible, but it also stops you from getting side-tracked. When you enter a dirty room you can become overwhelmed and also very quickly discouraged. By sticking rigidly to the plan at hand you can stay focused and stop this from happening. Losing your focus steals away a few minutes here and there and these minutes all add up. Before you know it, you are an hour behind schedule and starting to quickly lose motivation. Not a good situation at all.
You should also have all of your tools that you’ll need, sitting in your tray or hanging from your apron. That way you don’t need to go anywhere to get them. They’ll always be where you need them and expect them to be. And you know what this means? Yes, that’s right it means faster cleaning. Now you are finally starting to get it :).
8) When you are cleaning, you are cleaning. You are not doing the laundry, folding the kids clothes, cooking, talking or texting on your phone, ironing or do any other chore. You are strictly cleaning and that is it. Otherwise you’ll never get finished. Trust me, trying to do more than one thing at a time might feel “efficient” but it isn’t. It’s just incredibly distracting and ultimately it’s time wasting. Swallow your pride, accept that you can’t do two things at once and you’ll never look back.
This is exactly how we train all of our cleaners, at Home Concierge, from the very first day. This is also why we prefer to take on people who have very little and sometimes zero cleaning experience. Some of our clients are shocked to learn that the fantastic cleaner we have sent them, only has a few months experience on the job. They cant believe that someone could become so good so fast.
It’s basically down to our use of very specific checklists and these simple rules that we continuously drill into our cleaning techs. We actually find that the longer a person has been cleaning, the more bad habits they have picked up. They are typically very set in their ways and often will be 20-30% slower, even though they have sometimes many decades of experience.
It’s not nice to be told, after doing something for 30 years, that it’s in fact the wrong way to do it and that there’s a better, faster way. That can be very hard to swallow for some people.
This is why we typically look for a positive attitude and strong work ethic and ability to learn, above just straight experience.
All of these tips work very well, whether you are in a small studio or a mega six bedroom mansion.
Keep this list handy and refer back to it every so often, to keep everything fresh in your mind