I am wondering if there are others who clean offices or homes for a living and what tips you can offer. Such as time savers, tried and true materials (even out of the ordinary), safe cleaners, your overall "go to" tactics, what cleaners or tools you always have on hand, your routine upon entering the offices or houses, etc.
I used to clean apartments and homes and the first idea I thought of is when you visit a apartment management office is to bring a plant or a small basket with a potholder, a sample of dish washing detergent, etc. Just something that will be sitting on their desk after you leave and remind them that you are available for the job of cleaning should they have a need.
When I cleaned I had a system that worked for me. I would put cleanser on whatever seemed to need to soak while I cleaned everything else. I would then pick up the trash, and go on from there. I am sure you can come up with a routine that makes it all go smoothly and as quick as possible while a job well done.
I have been cleaning houses for the last 23 years and this is how I do it.
Only do these things if they are needed. When I put a small amount of cleaner on my cleaning cloth I always put it on the end with the tag, this way I don't have to smell the corner to find it and I'm not rubbing cleaner when I want just plain water.
I take a toothbrush and rubbing it on my damp cleaning cloth, 1 it keeps the brush damp to pick up small particles of dirt and it cleans the bristles of the toothbrush as I go.
Wipe up any spots on refrigerator shelves walls and floor, shelves in the door, Vacuum crumbs out of freezer then wipe up any spot, wipe down the front, sides, handles and the top Mr. Clean Magic sponge cleans the front quite well . Dry surface with a dry clean cloth.
Clean the microwave, if their stubborn spots on the inside, boil a cup of water in the microwave and leave the door closed for a little while so it can't steam, you can put lemon, or vinegar in the water, this will help loosen the grime and eliminate odors. Wipe down the inside be sure to always get the top, I use a cleaning cloth on the back of my hand, then use my palm to get the rest, a toothbrush along the seams is great. Dry off outside.
Wipe down the front and the top, depending on how bad the outside is, I will use witch's brew on light soil all the way to straight ammonia. Using a damp toothbrush to get in all the cracks and crevices. Wipe off the outside with a dry cloth to prevent streaking.
The outside of the oven,
I put a tiny bit of barkeeper's friend on the corner of my cleaning cloth always rubbing with the grain of the stainless steel or you will damage the surface, never, never, never used Scotch Bright or any other abrasive Plastic scrubber.
You can use a new S.O.S., but it must have more soap then steel wool. Wipe with a clean wet cloth then wipe off outside with a dry cleaning cloth. Buffing up the shine, a very thin coat of baby oil on stainless steel will even out the color remember to wipe off any excess.
For the inside of the oven door, I use a single edge razor blade to remove any built up grime on the glass . To clean the inside of the oven, always remove the racks, wipe up any large spills that can be wipe up.
(read the manual on how to clean the gaskets) then run the self cleaning cycle.
Cook top remove the burner greats, wipe off or soak any build up, remove the knobs, and the flame-reflector, sprinkled bartenders helper on the surface rubbing with the grain of the stainless steel, never, never, never used Scotch Bright or any other abrasive Plastic scrubber.
You can use a new S.O.S., but it must have more soap then steel wool. Using toothbrush with ammonia to get in any small areas and a round the nomenclature of the control knobs, even use a toothbrush to clean between the counter top and the edge of the cook top, wipe down with a clean rinsed rag and then a dry one, buff and polish is the name of the game.
Checked the front of all the kitchen cabinet doors, only wipe what's dirty, but keep an eye on the area around the knobs, wipe with plain water and work your way up to ammonia depending on how bad it is. Open drawers look for crumbs to be vacuumed out, and vacuum them out, check the lip of the drawer and sides for grime to be removed.
Backsplash area, keep a close eye on this area, if you see any spot, remove -immediately, they become permanent all too fast.
Wipe down countertops, the wooden lip all the way around the counter top, stains may need an application of bleach, and or barkeeper's friend, wax counter top quarterly or as needed.
Kitchen sink, scrubbed down with barkeeper's friend, be sure to clean the corners, with your cleaning cloth use the back of your hand, it makes it much easier. If you start getting a calcium build up around the faucet's place a cleaning cloth soaked in white vinegar around the faucet let it set and you may need to use a toothbrush to get into the smaller areas, use a toothbrush around the sink lip and the counter top, and don't forget to wipe out the drain area. If drains began to smell bring several pots of water to boil, and dumped them 1 right after the other down the drained. This works in the bathroom also.
Before cleaning the bathroom wipe down the Light switches, doorjambs, and doors with lemon ammonia.
Bathroom, wipe down mirror, top of mirror and medicine cabinet , and medicine cabinet shelves, throw away any old and expired items, clean sink with witch's brew, barkeeper's friend, for water stains, start with distilled vinegar use Lime-a-way if vinegar doesn't work, check for any water stains on back wall behind sink and faucet.
Wipe down shower with a squeegee use, if you can't get it clean with witch's brew use ka-boom on shower floor, (Read, ka-boom label)
Spray toilet with witch's brew, Wipe the floor around the toilet with toilet paper to get up hair and dust easily, just so it doesn't contaminate your cleaning cloth, then clean with the cleaning cloth, spray inside and outside of the toilet with the witch's brew. and wipe it down.
Cleaning the floor with a toilet paper or Kleenex really makes it much easier, you're not fighting with all the hair while trying to clean the rest of the bathroom.
On the toilet tank behind the seats, use your rag like you are buffing your shoes. Wipe down the baseboards. Always start from the top, work your way down to the floor.
Cleaning the not wet areas Vacuum the cobwebs, air vents, check the walls for dust settling on them (if walls are getting dusty, the long fluffy desk magnet works the best)
I use a damp toothbrush to get into little tiny places and in cracks and crevices, a dry paintbrush or I will spray it with in dust.
Several different ways to dust, light dust I use the long fluffy desk magnet, averaged dust I used a barely damp micro fiber cloth, heavy dust, dirt (greasy hand marks thick dirt) a small amount of Lemon ammonia on a micro fiber cloth. Depending on the need I use In dust, lemon oil and feed and wax.
Now we vacuum, 1st Vacuum with out any attachments, up against baseboards, under refrigerator , door thresholds, behind furniture, then do the baseboards with a round dusting brush, vacuum up what hair you can off the furniture, stool's, a desk chairs and then you get to vacuum the carpet and bare floors.
I clean houses and the best thing I have found is what I have named witch's brew, I have used it for 20 plus years, it is excellent. You will need to mix equal parts of Simple Green, Orange scented Pine Sol and water. (Though orange makes it smell like tutti-frutti)
Do not substitute any other pine cleaner, can use the different fragrances, do not use this on windows or mirrors it will leave a slight film, but it will remove soap scum from shower doors. It will remove the gumminess on plastic and it cleans greasy stove tops, wooden furniture, stains on clothing, it does an excellent job on soap scum and toilets it virtually dissolves feces, use it to clean up after animals and just try it on any cleaning job.
I'm sure you will love it also. Be brave mix-up 1/4 cup of each and put in a spray bottle give a good shake and give it a try you will love it also. Once you realize how good it works you will mix it up by the gallon to have it ready to go. The only other cleaners I use is Vinegar for hard water stains if that doesn't work use Lime Away, (CLR does not work at its a waste of money), Magic Eraser, Lemon scented Ammonia and occasionally Bleach.
HI, LaLa, You requested if we knew of safer cleaners in your post. You are wise, because if you are using chemicals that get onto your skin, eyes, or even are inhaled, eventually your health could be compromised. I did not know this when younger and burned my lungs mixing everyday household cleaners. If you want to learn more about how and where safer and cheaper than store brands exist (with no child proof safety caps because they are that safe) go to wwwdotresidualincomeheredotcom and take the healthy home tour at the bottom of the page. I can be reached from that information.
For doors and windows that have slotted wood, use a dry paint brush to get the dust off. I also use the brush on pleated lampshades. I learned this when I worked as a housekeeper at a hotel. Always clean from top to bottom.
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